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.