The center-right government of Greece announced the country’s first out minister on Monday. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appointed Nicholas Yatromanolakis as the new deputy minister of culture. The 44-year-old native of Athens had previously served as the culture ministry’s general secretary.
Greece is currently dealing with high unemployment and an economic slowdown as a result of the country’s response to the global pandemic. Mitsotakis reshuffled the cabinet to help deal with the crisis, although he left most of the key cabinet positions left unchanged. Most notably, finance minister Christos Staikouras and health minister Vasilis Kilikias remain in their jobs.
This is not the first time Yatromanolakis has made history. His appointment as general secretary of the culture ministry was the first time an out politician had served at such a high level. He was also a founding member and on the steering committee of the now-defunct Potami political party, a centrist party that had sought to become a key swing player in the fierce and chaotic world of Greek politics. Yatromanolakis left the part in 2016, two years after its founding.
Yatromanolakis holds a BA in political science and international relations from Panteion University in Athens, and also a Masters in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In addition to his work in government, he has also edited multiple publications and was the scientific editor of the Greek language version of the NATO Handbook. He’s also been focused on LGBTQ+ and human rights, mental and physical health of children, and the social inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized populations.
He keeps a low public profile, but if his Instagram profile is any indication, Yatromanolakis’s off-hours appear filled with the tasks of feeding, caring for, and parenting Patrick the ginger cat and Vrasidas the rescue dog.