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Biden names Erika Moritsugu as senior AAPI liaison

President Biden on Wednesday named Erika Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison.

Driving the news: The decision follows weeks of pressure from AAPI leaders to include more Asian American representation at the Cabinet level and in senior administration roles.

  • Last month, Democratic Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) threatened to oppose Biden's "non-diversity" nominees unless he made a commitment to appoint AAPI voices in senior executive branch positions.

Details: Moritsugu will be responsible for outreach to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

  • "Moritsugu will bring her experience and expertise to the Biden-Harris Administration where she will be a vital voice to advance the President and the Administration’s priorities," White House said in a statement.

Background: Moritsugu, the vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families, has held several roles in the federal government, including serving as general counsel to Duckworth and as deputy legislative director to former Senator Danny Akaka (D-Hawaii), CBS News reports.

  • She was also an assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration.

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