The US has named its first-ever special envoy to advocate for the rights of the LGBT community worldwide.

Gay senior diplomat Randy Berry has been serving as US Consul General in the Netherlands since 2012, Reuters reported.

"Defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally — the heart and conscience of our diplomacy," US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement on the government's official website.

"That's why we're working to overturn laws that criminalise consensual same-sex conduct in countries around the world.

"It's why we're building our capacity to respond rapidly to violence against LGBT persons, and it's why we're working with governments, civil society, and the private sector through the Global Equality Fund to support programs advancing the human rights of LGBT persons worldwide."

The Secretary of State described Berry as a leader who has always excelled.

"I'm confident that Randy's leadership as our new Special Envoy will significantly advance efforts underway to move towards a world free from violence and discrimination against LGBT persons," Kerry said.

The appointment comes three years after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared during a speech in Geneva that "gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."