Seven openly gay peoplehave been assigned to head transition panels that will review federal agencies and departments by incoming President Barack Obama. They are among the 300 people who are serving in similar roles before January’s inauguration.

They are businessman Fred P. Hochberg, former San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg, and labor attorney Elaine Kaplan, Rick Stamberger, president and CEO of SmartBrief, Inc., Brad Kiley, member of the Center for American Progress, Thomas Soto an investment fund manager focusing on “clean technologies” and former Romanian Ambassador Michael Guest (pictured, right).

According to a statement on transition team websites:

“The Agency Review Teams for the Obama-Biden Transition will complete a thorough review of key departments, agencies and commissions of the United States government as well as the White House…[and will] provide the president-elect, the vice president-elect, and key advisors with information needed to make strategic policy, budgetary, and personnel decisions prior to the inauguration”

Traditionally, these transition team posts are translated into mid or high level position within the administration once the President is sworn in.

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