President Barack Obama has been praised for appointing an openly gay man as the US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.

“The selection of David Huebner as Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa is not only good for the LGBT community, it is good for America,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

Pennsylvania-born Huebner is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he majored at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also a graduate of Yale Law School and is a founding board member and former board co-chair for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Huebner is currently the head of the China Practice and the International Disputes Practice at the firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, based in Shanghai.

“The appointment of openly gay and lesbian Americans, by this Administration, continues show their dedication to diversity and making decisions not based on someone’s sexual orientation, but based on their qualifications”, said Solmonese.

Huebner’s appointment was further lauded by Jim Hormel, the first ever openly gay US Ambassador who was appointed to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton in 1999.

“As the American people have learned from my experience, sexual orientation has nothing to do with one’s ability to represent our country abroad in the Foreign Service,” said Hormel.

“I am pleased that President Obama has chosen David Huebner who will serve as an excellent ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.”

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