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From Japan to India to Samoa, and from Indonesia to Hawaii, Asian American and Pacific Islanders represent the diversity and traditions that enrich our collective cultural and political heritage. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and this year’s theme is APA Everywhere.

This year, the President is taking the unprecedented step of hosting a White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on May 12.  Attendees from across the country, including many Federal employees, will participate in a full day of programs on health, education, civil rights, immigration, and the arts. I share the President’s deep commitment to make sure we value the contributions of all our communities and that we build a Federal workforce that draws on the rich diversity of our great country.

The President demonstrates his commitment to inclusion by continuing to bring talented and innovative Asian-American leaders into the administration. Jane Chu is the new Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.  And Michelle Lee is the new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  In addition to heading agencies, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are serving at all levels within the Federal workforce.

All of us in the Federal Government have a responsibility to recruit Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who can make important contributions to the essential work we do to keep America running. That’s why OPM is participating with the Federal Asian Pacific American Council in a Student Pathway Seminar and Career Fair on May 6. I want to make sure that we only not only have as many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders serving our country as possible, but that they have a seat at every decision-making table.

That’s what inclusion is all about.  We launched the REDI Roadmap this year so that we could develop an even more diverse and engaged workforce.  REDI stands for Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion.  Through REDI, we are determined to help applicants from every community in this great country successfully navigate the hiring process.

During the month of May, I encourage you to learn all you can about AAPI history.  At OPM, our Asian American and Pacific Islander American Employee Resource Group and other organizations across the Federal Government will be holding presentations, discussions, and other events during this month.

 As America’s workforce continues to become more diverse and more inclusive, this diversity of experience, perspectives, and talent will help us even more successfully serve the American people.

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