AAPI 46 Screening Committee Identifies Cabinet and Senior-Level Candidates for Biden Transition Team

by | Sep 10, 2020 | Uncategorized

WASHINGTON – Today, AAPI Victory Fund, in partnership with AAPI Progressive Action, has provided its list of highly qualified Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) candidates for a potential Biden administration to Senator Ted Kaufman, chair of the Biden Transition Team. The list was developed by the AAPI 46 Screening Committee and the candidates were approved by the joint board of directors of the organizations. The AAPI Victory Fund was the second organization nationally to endorse Vice President Biden in early January of 2020.

“Vice President Biden has repeatedly stated that he is going to form a government that is representative of America, and we will hold him to this task,” said Varun Nikore, AAPI Victory Fund president and executive director of AAPI Progressive Action. “President Obama appointed more AAPIs to his administration than any president before—including three AAPI Cabinet Secretaries during his first term. However, at no given time did AAPI representation in President Obama’s administration exceed 3%. Now at 23 million strong and nearly 7% of the population, we expect Vice President Biden to follow through on his promise to review and appoint the best and brightest candidates, including many of whom AAPI 46 has identified.” 

“The confidential list of dozens of names disaggregated by AAPI ethnicity given to the Biden Transition Team represents the largest collection of Cabinet and senior-level administration candidates the community has ever presented to a presidential transition team,” said Shekar Narasimhan, chair and founder of AAPI Victory Fund. “The number of applicants we received was astounding. We have seen a growing trend of experienced and progressive AAPIs become more interested in public service and ensuring our government represents the interests of all Americans.” 

The Screening Committee is co-chaired by Seema Nanda, former CEO, Democratic National Committee and Mike Honda, former Congressman and founder-chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Committee members include Michelle Bonoan, managing director, Koya Leadership Partners; Grace Choi, former White House Liaison staff, U.S. Department of State; Ankur Goel, partner, McDermott Will & Emery; Julian Ha, partner, Heidrick & Struggles; and Doua Thor, former executive director, White House Initiative on AAPIs. Ginger Lew, former White House executive, serves as advisor to the Screening Committee. The Board liaisons are Luisa Blue, executive vice president, SEIU; Christopher P. Lu, former Deputy Secretary of Labor; Katie Kalvoda, founder, G3 Ventures; and Dilawar Syed, president and CEO, Lumiata. Organizational affiliations are listed for information purposes only.

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