The Washington Blade has confirmed that Randy Berry is no longer the special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBT and intersex rights abroad.
A State Department spokesperson on Thursday told the Blade that Berry is “currently serving as a deputy assistant secretary” in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.” The spokesperson said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Scott Busby is currently carrying out the “role and responsibilities” of the special envoy.
Then-Secretary of State John Kerry announced the position in early 2015 as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to promote LGBT and intersex rights abroad. Berry — a career Foreign Service officer — had been in the post since April 2015.
“Mr. Berry is a career Senior Foreign Service Officer who served as the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons for two years, which is a common duration for foreign service officer assignments,” the State Department spokesperson told the Blade.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in August told U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) — chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — the special envoy position will remain in place under a State Department overall. The State Department spokesperson with whom the Blade spoke on Thursday reiterated Tillerson’s comment.
“The position of the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons will be retained and continue to be organized under the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL),” said the spokesperson. “The department is looking to fill the position.” Read more via Washington Blade