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Press Release

Thursday, June 24, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-594-6827

RELEASE: Kiran Ahuja Sworn in As Director of the Office of Personnel Management

WASHINGTON - Today, Kiran Arjandas Ahuja was officially sworn in as the 13th Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Director Ahuja took the oath this morning after the Senate voted to confirm her on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.   

After more than two decades in public service and executive nonprofit work, she was nominated by President Joe Biden for her current role. Director Ahuja is the first South Asian American and first Asian American woman to lead OPM. In her role, Director Ahuja will lead OPM in its work to recruit, retain, and honor the American workforce that’s landing rovers on Mars, fighting climate change and cancer, and building the country back better.   

Previously, Director Ahuja served as OPM Chief of Staff from 2015-2017. In this role, she worked on policies and initiatives that reached over 2.1 million workers at every federal agency and department.  

While Chief of Staff, Director Ahuja led inter-agency efforts to engage federal workers, attract skilled talent into government, and expand opportunities in federal service to every American. She also worked to strengthen OPM’s internal operations as an agency and provide stable leadership at a challenging time.   

Her deep commitment to OPM’s mission, track record of bringing people together to solve tough problems, and expertise in human capital issues led to her appointment in November 2020 to then-President-Elect Biden’s Agency Review Team as Team Lead for OPM.   

Director Ahuja knows how important investing in America’s workforce is because of her years of experience in the federal government in both career and appointed positions.  She started her career first as an attorney at the Department of Justice and later spent six years as President Barack Obama’s Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.   

In addition to her federal service, Director Ahuja spent years as a leader in the non-profit sector. She previously served as the founding Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and most recently served as CEO of Philanthropy Northwest. Director Ahuja is a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Georgia School of Law.  

Below please find an excerpt of remarks as prepared for delivery by Director Ahuja to the OPM workforce this morning at a virtual swearing in ceremony: 

We all know that OPM’s mission is vital, is essential. Throughout the pandemic, the American people have seen on display what you know well – the federal government and federal workers, have a unique role to play in solving some of our nation’s biggest challenges. At the heart of the federal government are people. I believe the pandemic has helped us realize that, all too well. 

I’m excited to stand with you as we move forward into a new chapter of OPM history. We all know what lies ahead.  

OPM has faced unique and significant challenges, and it will take time to fully address them. But I’m confident we’ll come out stronger on the other side – because we will do this together. I strongly believe with all of you, we are well-positioned for our next chapter as an agency.  

I know you are already tackling the major issues of our times. From shaping how and where we work in the future, to ensuring everyone is safe while working during this pandemic, and discussions regarding how we rebuild our federal workforce, there’s no shortage of conversations to be had and issues to tackle.  

I want you to know that I’m in this for the long haul.  I know we have a lot of work ahead.  And I want you all to know it is an honor and the privilege of my professional career to return once again to public service as OPM’s Director, but more importantly, it is an honor and privilege to be working with all of you – old and new colleagues.  I look forward to the work ahead and to working together. 

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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the leader in workforce management for the federal government. Our agency builds, strengthens, and serves a federal workforce of 2.2 million employees with programs like hiring assistance, healthcare and insurance, retirement benefits, and much more. We provide agencies with policies, guidance, and best practices for supporting federal workers, so they can best serve the American people.

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