CAPAC Members Applaud Nomination of Erika Moritsugu as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison

Apr 15, 2021

CAPAC Members Applaud Nomination of Erika Moritsugu as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison

Washington, D.C. — On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that he is naming Erika L. Moritsugu as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Senior Liaison. Currently serving as the Vice President at the National Partnership for Women and Families, Moritsugu has a long career in federal service on behalf of marginalized communities, including at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Obama Administration, as well as at the Anti-Defamation League, and as General Counsel for Senator Tammy Duckworth. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) issued the following statements praising the appointment:

CAPAC Leadership

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“With deep roots in the AAPI community and years of experience in government advancing civil rights and opportunity for all, Erika Moritsugu is an impeccable choice for this historic presidential appointment. For too long, AAPIs have been left out of important policy conversations even though AAPIs are the fastest growing racial population in the United States and are deeply impacted by policies ranging from immigration to healthcare to education. That is why CAPAC has made it a top priority to ensure that highly qualified AAPIs are appointed throughout our federal government, especially at the highest levels where critical decisions are made. And that is why Erika’s appointment is so important. Having a dedicated voice for AAPIs in the West Wing ensures that the needs of our community will be heard in the Oval Office and included in the most significant policy conversations happening in our nation. I am so grateful to our two incredible CAPAC Senators, Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono, for their steadfast leadership in calling for this appointment and to President Biden for responding so immediately to address our concerns. I look forward to working closely with Erika and know that she will be a strong ally to the AAPI community in her new role.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair:

“I applaud President Biden’s announcement on selecting Erika L. Moritsugu to serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison. Our nation and the AAPI community will benefit from this decision given Ms. Moritsugu’ s distinguished career at the highest levels of government and advocacy. She has been a fierce advocate for empowering communities of color and fighting injustices that so many face. She has leveraged her expertise and professional experiences to make our society better. Our AAPI community needs her now more than ever before. I look forward to working with President Biden and Ms. Moritsugu to ensure our voices are heard and inequities addressed.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice Chair:

“Congratulations to Erika Moritsugu on her nomination to this critical role. Since before President Biden and Vice President Harris were inaugurated, CAPAC has been pushing for greater AAPI representation in the administration because it matters. The AAPI community has been afflicted by two pandemics, the coronavirus pandemic and the pandemic of racism that plagues this country. By having an AAPI liaison in the White House, we know that someone will be giving voice to the experiences of our community. I look forward to her work and thank President Biden for establishing this important position.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“I applaud President Biden for nominating Erika Moritsugu as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison. Having a diverse group of individuals at the highest levels of government means including a member of the AAPI community, the fastest growing minority population in the United States. Erika Moritsugu will do an excellent job in this position, bringing her experience and expertise to the Biden-Harris Administration. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to advance the goals of all Americans.”

CAPAC Senators

Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL):

“I applaud President Biden for swiftly addressing my concerns and creating a new senior-level AAPI liaison position at the White House. Erika Moritsugu is a leader within the AAPI community who has experience working in both the legislative and executive branches as well as advocating for working families outside of government. I know first-hand that President Biden will benefit from her counsel, policy expertise and strong relationship-building skills, especially as his Administration seeks to make sure AAPI leaders are present at the highest levels of government. I look forward to working with her to build on and expand the Biden’s Administration’s efforts to protect and empower the AAPI community.”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):

“Erika is an excellent choice to serve as the White House AAPI Senior Liaison. I’m proud to say that Erika is from Hawaii and that I’ve known her family for decades. Erika’s designation as a deputy assistant to the president demonstrates that the White House heard the AAPI community’s call for this role to be a senior level position. I have confidence that Erika will use her deep experience in Congress, the Executive Branch, and as an advocate to be a champion for the AAPI community in this administration.”

CAPAC Executive Board Members

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07):

“As the first South Asian American woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, I know how critically important it is to have leaders with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives at all levels of government. This is a necessary appointment, and I am glad that President Biden is following through on his commitment to build an administration and senior team that looks like America. Erika Moritsugu is such an excellent champion for AAPI communities, and I look forward to working closely with her on the multiple issues facing our AAPI communities across this country.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“I join my colleagues in applauding the nomination of Erika Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior liaison. This nomination couldn’t come at a more critical time as we continue to fight against a global pandemic that has disproportionately impacted the AAPI community and mourn tragic losses in Asian American communities due to hate and violence. I look forward to working with Erika.”

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06):

“President Biden’s announcement to add Erika Moritsugu to his team is a clear signal to the AAPI community that we stand together as one America – and that all perspectives and voices are valued. Erika has spent her career advocating for the underserved, and lifting up the voices of communities who have too often been overlooked. Her long track record of leadership in the AAPI community will make her counsel invaluable to the Administration as we continue to navigate the difficulties of anti-Asian discrimination, the pandemic and our economic recovery.”

Congresswoman Michael San Nicolas (GU):

“The news of the Biden Administration focusing direct federal attention on the needs of AAPI communities with the appointment of Erika Moritsugu as a deputy assistant to the President is most welcomed, and we look forward to this initial action opening doors to direct policy solutions for long standing AAPI concerns.”

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10):

“With the addition of Erika Moritsugu as senior AAPI Liaison and Deputy Assistant, President Biden is bringing a necessary and trusted voice to his Administration to help our community feel represented, heard, and respected in our society. I applaud the Biden Administration on making this move during a critical juncture in which we need to urgently come together to stop skyrocketing anti-Asian hate crimes and give the AAPI community a seat at the policy table to address a number of important priorities.”

CAPAC Associate Members

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“I am thrilled that President Biden has chosen Erika Moritsugu to be Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Senior Liaison. From her work at the National Partnership for Women & Families to her roles across Capitol Hill and government agencies, her vast experience fighting for families and the AAPI community make her the perfect choice for this position. For too long, the AAPI community has been left out of critical conversations at the highest levels of government, and in this moment of both intense discrimination and opportunity, Moritsugu will be a critical leader in our recovery and fight for equity.”

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12):

“Congratulations to Erika Moritsugu on her nomination as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison. Erika’s long career in politics and government fighting for social justice and the empowerment of minority communities and individuals makes her the perfect candidate for this role. Her diverse experience on Capitol Hill and knowledge of the governmental agency system have equipped her to perfectly fulfill the role of Deputy Assistant.”

Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI):

“Senator Hirono and Senator Duckworth are to be commended for insisting the President act quickly to raise the profile of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the White House. I welcome the nomination of Ms. Moritsugu to be the President’s AAPI liaison.  She has personal familiarity with the Pacific from her upbringing in Hawai’i. And I look forward to working with her to meet the President’s goal of assuring federal resources reach underserved, minority communities in the Pacific insular areas.”

# # #

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.