White House to name Erika Moritsugu to Asian American liaison position

The Biden administration is expected Thursday to announce Erika Moritsugu to a senior-level Asian American liaison position, according to sources familiar with the decision making.

The White House committed to creating the new role amid pressure from Democratic Senators Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii over the lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander representation in the president’s Cabinet and in senior roles in the administration.

In March, the lawmakers threatened to oppose President Biden’s nominees who were not diverse until the Biden administration would elevate Asian American voices to more senior roles in the government. After conversations with the White House, both senators dropped their pledge to withhold confirming non-diverse nominees.