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Erika Moritsugu. Photo courtesy: National Partnership for Women & Families

President Biden has named Erika Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison, the White House announced Wednesday.

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, the vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families, 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," the White House said in a statement.

What they're saying: "I applaud President Biden for swiftly addressing my concerns and creating a new senior-level AAPI liaison position at the White House," Duckworth said in a statement Wednesday.

  • "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."

Background: Moritsugu has previous experience in the federal government and on Capitol Hill, 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.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Sen. Duckworth's statement.

Go deeper

Updated Apr 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden accepts Pelosi's invitation to address Congress in late April

Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden has accepted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's invitation to address a joint session of Congress on April 28, the White House confirmed Tuesday night

Why it matters: This will be Biden's first speech to both the House and Senate since taking office.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Experts predict major boom for North American sports stadiums

Rendering of the $375 million Moody Center on the UT-Austin campus. Photo courtesy of Moody Center

Stadium and arena construction in North America will total a relatively tame $5.8 billion this year, a 12% decrease from 2021.

The big picture: What the industry lacks in construction it expects to make up for in design, with experts predicting a sports venue boom over the next half-decade, SBJ reports.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

The latest: “I can’t comment on specific pieces of intelligence. But we’ve been warning about just this kind of tactic for weeks and we’ve spoken to that publicly," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

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