A Jewish woman from Brookline, Massachusetts, Freedman-Gurspan was a member of the Jewish Students’ Organization at St. Olaf College in St. Paul Minnesota, where she completed her undergraduate studies. In her Facebook profile picture, she wears a necklace with the Star of David.
On Tuesday, she was appointed to a senior position in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. While the Obama Administration has hired transgender people before, none have been tapped to work in the White House.
Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, said to the Washington Blade, “Raffi Freedman-Gurspan demonstrates the kind of leadership this administration champions.”
She has worked for many years in transgender advocacy, most recently with the National Center for Transgender Equality. There, she campaigned for transgender people of color and those living in poverty.
According to Carl Sciortino, a former lawmaker in the Massachusetts State House, Freedman-Gurspan was “instrumental” to passing the Transgender Equal Rights Law.
Freedman-Gurspan starts work on Tuesday, where she will help oversee the selection process for presidential appointments.