Biden Picks Ahuja to Head OPM

February 23, 2021 by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced he’s picked Kiran Ahuja to be his director of the Office of Personnel Management.

If confirmed, Ahuja would be the first South Asian and first Asian American woman to lead the agency.

Ahuja served for a little more than a year as OPM chief of staff during the Obama administration under Acting Director Beth Cobert.

She previously spent six years as executive director of President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

In addition to her government work, Ahuja has over 20 years of public service and philanthropy experience. She’s currently the CEO of Philanthropy Northwest, and she spent several years as a career civil rights attorney at the Justice Department.

Ahuja began her career as a civil rights lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice, litigating school desegregation cases, and filing the department’s first student racial harassment case.

From 2003 to 2008, Ahuja served as the founding executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, an advocacy and membership organization. During the Obama-Biden Administration, she spent six years as executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, leading efforts to increase access to federal services, resources and programs for underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Ahuja grew up in Savannah, Ga. As a young Indian immigrant she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Spelman College and a law degree from the University of Georgia.

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