Bernard's selection as White House social secretary was noteworthy, obviously, because the position traditionally had been held by women. But the choice of Bernard was groundbreaking for another reason, as well. Bernard was the first openly gay White House social secretary.
"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," Obama said in announcing Bernard's appointment. "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."
Bernard, who was 49 at the time of his appointment, became the third Obama White House social secretary. He followed Julianna Smoot, who left the role to join Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, and Desiree Rogers, who was the first White House social secretary of the Obama administration.
Bio of the White House Social Secretary
At the time of his appointment to White House social secretary, Bernard was serving as senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador in Paris. He had previously served as the White House liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities, from 2008 to 2010.
According to a biography released by the White House, Bernard had also been involved in Obama's 2008 election campaign, as a finance consultant in California. Bernard has an extensive background in finance, a benefit given the job's role of helping to raise money in addition to coordinating social events at the White House.
Bernard was a Clinton appointee to 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 is a native of San Antonio, Texas.
Advocate for Gay Rights
Before being named White House social secretary, Bernard was also an active advocate for gay rights.
He served as a board member of Access Now for Gay & Lesbian Equality, or ANGLE, and the National Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
Bernard 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, according to the White House.