United States President Joe Biden has appointed Erika Moritsugu on April 14 as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Senior Liaison, as well as Deputy Assistant to the President.
“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,” the White House said in a statement.
The appointment came less than a month after Biden announced he would establish a committee within the administration’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to address the rise of attacks against the AAPI community, including the Atlanta area shooting that killed six Asian American women last March.
The appointment also followed pressure from Democratic Senators Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono, the only Asian American members in the Senate, who criticized Biden for the lack of AAPI representation in his cabinet.
Duckworth and Hirono both praised Moritsugu’s appointment.
Duckworth said on Twitter that Biden “will benefit from Erika’s counsel, policy expertise, and strong relationship-building skills as he seeks to ensure AAPI leaders are present at working with her to protect and empower the AAPI community.”
Moritsugu’s appointment “demonstrates that the White House heard the AAPI community’s call for this role to be a senior level position,” Hirono said on Twitter.
Moritsugu has previously served multiple roles on Capitol Hill, including serving as general counsel to Duckworth and assistant secretary at the, and within governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Moritsugu currently serves as the Vice President for Congressional Relations at the non-profit organization National Partnership for Women and Families.