White House taps new Jewish liaison
Matt Nosanchuk, a lawyer who helped advance the Obama administration's gay rights policies, is to replace Zach Kelly.
JTA learned Wednesday that Nosanchuk will replace Zach Kelly, who has held the job part time since the last full-time liaison to the Jewish community, Jarrod Bernstein, left for the private sector in January.
From 2009 to 2012, Nosanchuk was a top staffer in the Justice Department’s civil rights division, where he helped shape the Obama administration’s response to a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. That challenge last month successfully nullified the act, extending federal rights to same-sex couples.
The administration at first refused to defend the act and ultimately submitted a brief arguing that it should be struck down.
Nosanchuk also oversaw implementation of the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Act, passed in 2009, that expanded hate crimes to include those motivated by gender, gender identification and disability. Hate crimes generally mandate tougher sentences for crimes in which bias is part of the motivation.
Since 2012, Nosanchuk has worked at the Department of Homeland Security.