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Roberta Achtenberg Edit Profile

Roberta Achtenberg, American Federal official. Bar: California, United States District Court (northern district) California, United States Court Appeals (9thcir.). Commissioner San Francisco County Transportation Authority; member County Board Suprs., City and County of San Francisco; board directors Bay Area Air Quality Management District, 1991-1993. Member Order of Coir, Phi Beta Kappa.


Achtenberg, Roberta was born on July 20, 1950 in Los Angeles, California, United States. Daughter of Louis and Beatrice Achtenberg.


University of California, Berkeley. University of California, Los Angeles. University of Utah; University of California, Hastings College of the Law.


She currently serves as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. She served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, becoming the first openly lesbian or gay public official in the United States whose appointment to a federal position was confirmed by the United States Senate. Before becoming a public official, Achtenberg worked for more than 15 years as a civil rights attorney, nonprofit director and legal educator.

Her activity included co-founding the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Achtenberg unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the California State Assembly in 1988. Achtenberg left the post in 1995 to run for mayor of San Francisco.

She served as Senior Vice President for Public Policy at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce until January 2005. In 2000, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of California State University by Governor Gray Davis, becoming chair of the Board in May 2006. In introducing herself to the delegates, she proudly identified herself as a lesbian, a mother, and a Jew.

On January 26, 2011, President Barack Obama named Achtenberg to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.


She was elected as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1990 and resigned in 1993 when she was appointed Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by President Bill Clinton. In 1992, Achtenberg was a member of the committee drafting the Democratic Party's platform.


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