Metro Weekly

President Biden nominates two LGBTQ people to top economic posts

Christy Goldsmith Romero and Jed Kolko will join a number of other out officials, if confirmed by the Senate.

president joe biden
President Joe Biden — Photo via Facebook

Last week, President Joe Biden announced nominations to 10 key posts. If confirmed by the Senate, two of the nominees, Christy Goldsmith Romero and Jed Kolko, would join a number of out LGBTQ officials in the Biden administration.

Goldsmith Romero, who is bisexual, is poised to become one of five commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an independent agency that regulates various American markets. 

Since 2012, Goldsmith Romero has served as Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), leading investigations into fraud, money laundering and corruption at the federal level.

According to her faculty page at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she has been an adjunct professor since 2019, her investigations made the financial industry safer and more transparent. Additionally, she has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law since 2020.

In 2017, she openly criticized Donald Trump’s budget cuts, arguing that they would jeopardize TARP’s ability to conduct criminal investigations.

Before joining the Special Inspector General’s office upon its launch in 2009, she worked for the Securities Exchange Commission. She also previously litigated for private law firms and clerked for a federal judge.

In 1995, she earned her J.D. from the Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School, and in 1992, she earned her B.S. in business administration from Old Dominion University.

The same year, Jed Kolko, who is nominated for Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs at the Department of Commerce, earned his A.B. in social studies from Harvard University.

As a junior, Kolko, who is gay, campaigned against an allegedly anti-gay class council member. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 2000.

Since 2016, Kolko has served as Chief Economist at the job site Indeed.com, where he conducts and oversees labor-market research. Since 2015, he has been a Senior Fellow at the University of California Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, which aims to address housing affordability and related inequities.

He is also a board member of both the California Budget and Policy Center and the National Association for Business Economics.

From 2011 to 2015, he was Chief Economist and Vice President of Analytics at the online real estate site Trulia.com. While in this position, he researched gay neighborhoods across the country, finding that same-sex couples tend to live in pricier neighborhoods.

In other previous roles, he advised policymakers and leaders in business and technology. His work has been featured in a bevy of national and academic publications.

If confirmed, Kolko would spearhead the Economics and Statistics Administration, which provides data on the American people and economy.

Biden’s other nominations include Rostin Behnam and Kristin Johnson for the CFTC, Alvaro Bedoya for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, Reta Jo Lewis for President and Chair of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., Maria Lago for Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, Arthur Jemison for Public and Indian Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Alanna McCargo for President of the Government National Mortgage Association at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Elaine Trevino for Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative.

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