Jeremy Bernard Hub

NYT Profiles White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard

The NYT makes note of the influence exerted by the White House Social Secretary, who, for the first time, is a gay man, Jeremy Bernard, whose skills as a fundraiser propelled him to the position:

BernardIn recent months, the president has turned more and more to gay men and women in search of new veins of large campaign donations, particularly after antagonizing Wall Street, a traditional but now less fruitful source of cash.

Many of the bundlers at the dinner for Mr. Cameron were friends of Mr. Bernard, among them Chad H. Griffin, the incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay advocacy group. (Mr. Griffin and his date, Jerome Fallon, got a seat with the Obamas at the head table.) Other bundler friends of Mr. Bernard at the dinner included Dana Perlman, a Los Angeles lawyer who is on the board of the Human Rights Campaign and who brought his husband, Hugh Kinsellagh.

“I doubt he put anybody on that list just because they were friends,” said a friend of Mr. Bernard who is an advocate for gay issues in Washington and who asked not to be identified talking about what he considered the sensitive topic of political donors and the White House. “But he made very astute political calculations that were in the best interest of the president’s future.”

Equally noticeable were the gay couples at ease enough at the state dinner for Mr. Cameron to walk hand in hand past the cameras set up for guest arrivals — an evolution in attitudes and etiquette that Mr. Bernard’s friends partly credit to him.

White Gloves Not Needed [nyt]

Jeremy Bernard Named White House Social Secretary; is First Man, First Openly Gay Person to Serve in Position

The White House today announced that Jeremy Bernard has been appointed Social Secretary and Special Assistant to the President. Bernard is the first man to hold the position.

Bernard Bernard is currently serving as Senior Advisor to the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, and prior to that served as White House Liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Said President Obama: "Jeremy shares our vision for the White House as the People’s House, one that celebrates our history and culture in dynamic and inclusive ways. We look forward to Jeremy continuing to showcase America’s arts and culture to our nation and the world through the many events at the White House."

Said Bernard in a statement: "I am deeply humbled to join the White House staff as Social Secretary and support President Obama and the First Lady in this role. I have long admired the arts and education programs that have become hallmarks of the Obama White House and I am eager to continue these efforts in the years ahead.”

On January 28, the NYT speculated whether a man could possibly take over the position of Social Secretary for the first time, after the announcement of the departure of Julianna Smoot to help run Obama's reelection campaign.

Bernard was a California Finance Consultant for the Obama for American campaign.  Appointed by President Clinton, Bernard also served on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was a member of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2009.  He previously served as a board member of A.N.G.L.E. (Access Now for Gay & Lesbian Equality) and the National Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.  He was also a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's LGBT Advisory Committee, the Los Angeles Police LGBT Advisory Committee and the Los Angeles Mayor's LGBT Advisory Committee.

Obama Fundraiser Bernard Named White House Liaison to the NEH


L.A.-based Obama fundraiser Jeremy Bernard has been named White House liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Democratic source told the Washington Blade:
"Bernard’s new role means he’ll serve as the primary point person between the White House and NEH, a government agency that provides grants to research and programs in the humanities. Bernard worked with his partner, Rufus Gifford, to raise millions of dollars through their company, B&G Associates, for Obama’s campaign in California...Bernard, a Los Angeles resident, also helped in fundraising efforts for freshman U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). A superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August, Bernard was pledged to Obama. Bernard worked for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and in 1999, then-President Clinton appointed Bernard to serve on a presidential advisory committee at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts."

Above, a photo I shot of Gifford (left) and Bernard at the kick-off to Obama's inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial.


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