Senate confirms Kiran Ahuja as head of OPM

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Ahuja, 49, is the first Indian-American to serve in this top position in the US government….reports Asian Lite News

The US Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Joe Biden’s nomination of Indian-American lawyer and activist Kiran Ahuja as head of the Office of Personnel Management, after Vice President Kamala Harris cast her tie-breaking vote.

The Office of Personnel Management is a federal agency that manages more than two million civil servants in the country.

Ahuja, 49, is the first Indian-American to serve in this top position in the US government.

The vice president announced to cast her vote in favour of Ahuja after the Senate vote on this resulted in 50-50 votes on party lines.

Born in India and raised in the USA, Ahuja, is the CEO of philanthrophy Northwest, a non-profit based in Seattle that works across six states. Ahuja served as the Chief of Staff to the Director of the US Office of Personnel Management from 2015 to 2017.

She comes from a family of immigrants and has moved to the US when she was two years of age, according to a report by The Quint.

Ahuja’s father was a Psychiatrist who worked at the Southern rural hospitals and also set up a clinic in Georgia for the under served communities. It was with her mother working in the flea market and the experiences there she first realised the discrimination she could face because of her skin colour, according to the report.

She began her career as a civil rights lawyer at the US 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 organisation.

She also spent six years as executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, under the Obama administration.

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