Openly gay William White, currently the CEO of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, is being pitched to Barack Obama’s transition team as the right choice for Secretary of the Navy.
Some top retired military leaders and some Democrats in Congress are backing William White, chief operating officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, to be the next secretary of the Navy – a move that would put the first openly gay person at the top of one of the services. The secretary’s job is a civilian position, so it would not run afoul of the ban on gays serving in the military, but it would renew focus on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office.
“He would be phenomenal,” said retired Gen. Hugh Shelton, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001, pointing to Mr. White’s extensive background as a fundraiser for veterans’ and military causes. Retired members of the Joint Chiefs have contacted Mr. Obama’s transition team to urge them to pick Mr. White, and members of Congress said he would be a good choice for a service secretary.
As the story notes, the job is a civilian post, but White’s selection would certainly ramp up the call for an end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”