White House’s first gay male social secretary to leave

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Jeremy Bernard was the first man and the first gay person to hold the role.

Mr Bernard started as a campaigner and fundraiser for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, successfully targeting the gay community. This drew the attention of the Obama family, who offered him the job of social secretary.

First lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to Mr Bernard’s work during his time serving the first family and the White House. He has been credited with opening up events at the president’s official residence to far more people than ordinarily would have been in attendance.

She said: “For the last four years, Jeremy has worked tirelessly to open the doors of the White House to as many people as possible and to make each and every event in the White House one to remember, not only for Barack and me, but for the tens of thousands of guests who pass through our doors each year.”

Speaking to the Washington Post, Mr Bernard said: “I never knew this job existed before this administration. When I did read and hear about it, I never would have imagined myself in it.”

He also spoke of working closely working with Mrs Obama to make the White House “as open as possible and to grant access to as many people as possible, especially people who had never been to the house before. It’s easy to fall into patterns, and what Mrs. Obama has been able to do is have an attitude that keeps it fresh.”

Last month, Mrs Obama appeared on Ellen Degeneres’ show.