Coalition of 36 National Latino Organizations Congratulates Katherine Archuleta on Confirmation as OPM Director

National Leaders Thank Supportive Senators, Warning Others that Continued Opposition to Latino Nominees will be Recorded and Shared with Broader Community

Authoring website: http://nationalhispanicleadership.org/headlines/1031archuleta/

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA)—the coalition of 36 preeminent national Latino organizations in the country—today congratulated Katherine Archuleta on her confirmation as the new Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM). 

Since President Barack Obama first nominated Ms. Archuleta on May 23, 2013, the NHLA coalition has been active in communicating its endorsement and support for her to the U.S. Senate. Mostly recently, NHLA sent a letter before the cloture vote and a statement in advance of the final vote informing Senators that the coalition would score all votes related to Archuleta’s nomination. NHLA’s Score Card of the 113th Congress will be a tool used to educate Latino constituents about their Senators’ and Representatives’ positions on key votes impacting the Latino community. 

As an initial measure to educate the community, NHLA released a table today, available via this link and at http://nationalhispanicleadership.org/confirmarchuleta, identifying the Latino population, Latino citizen population, and Latino registered voter population by state alongside a record of how each state’s Senator voted for two of the highest-ranking Senate-confirmed Latino appointees in 2013 – Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and the new Director of OPM, Katherine Archuleta. 

Looking forward to seeing Ms. Archuleta assume her new role, NHLA member organizations offered the following reactions: 

Hector Sanchez, NHLA Chair and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement said: “On behalf of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, I congratulate Katherine Archuleta, our nation’s new Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with her to improve the historical underrepresentation of Latino federal employees across all departments. It is truly unfortunate that a traditionally non-controversial post required a procedural cloture vote -- and that 18 Senators voted against cloture and even more disturbing that 35 Senators voted against her final confirmation. Procedural and political Senate floor antics that harm our community will be remembered as we prepare and disseminate our NHLA Score Card on the 113th Congress. Whether it’s looking at votes on key leaders like Ms. Archuleta and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez or votes on key policy issues affecting the Latino community like immigration, the budget and economy, health care, voting rights, NHLA will ensure that Latino constituents in all corners of the nation are informed about how their Members of Congress are using, or misusing, their power in the Capitol.” 

“LULAC is delighted with the confirmation of Katherine Archuleta as OPM Director,” stated NHLA Vice-Chair and LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “As the first Latina to hold this position, we are confident that Ms. Archuleta will bring a focus on hiring a federal workforce that looks like America.” 

“Katherine Archuleta represents the best and the brightest in the Latino community.  She is a richly experienced and talented professional, and I have no doubt that she will serve with distinction in one of the pivotal roles in our federal government,” stated Janet Murguía, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). “It is also a proud day for our community, as she is the first Latina to be named OPM director. We commend President Obama for this historic appointment.” 

“We applaud the U.S. Senate for confirming Katherine Archuleta to serve as the nation’s first Latina Director of the Office of Personnel Management," stated Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund Executive Director. “Given her accomplished record and deep commitment to this country, we have no doubt Ms. Archuleta will succeed in recruiting the nation's best and brightest to work at every level of the federal government.  We congratulate Ms. Archuleta on her confirmation to this important post and look forward to working with her in this new capacity to increase the number of Latinos serving in the federal career workforce." 

“Any thriving democracy must ensure that all populations are represented in government service and leadership. The confirmation of Katherine Archuleta is an important step toward our federal government more closely reflecting the nation and better approaching that ideal,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel

“The HNBA is pleased that at last the U.S. Senate fulfilled its constitutional duty by voting to confirm Katherine Archuleta as the new Director of the Office of Personnel Management,” said Miguel Alexander Pozo, Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) National President. “With her extensive experience and solid credentials, Ms. Archuleta is an exceptional candidate. Given the gamesmanship of recent weeks, it is critically important that the Senate send a message that our Government is not only open but that everyone is back to work doing the important work they were elected to do,” said Mr. Pozo. “As an Association focused on creating opportunities for Latinos in the legal profession, we applaud Ms. Archuleta’s past work and contributions in support of the Latino community and we look forward to what she will do in the new role on behalf of all Americans.” 

“We are gratified that Katherine Archuleta was confirmed as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management,” said Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO, SER-Jobs for Progress National Inc.“The Senators who voted for her confirmation have made a wise choice and must be congratulated;  Ms. Archuleta has had a long successful career as a public servant.  As she has done in her previous positions, Katherine will do an outstanding job in her new position. We congratulate her.” 

“Ms. Archuleta has not only succeeded in each of her previous roles, she has excelled,” said Alma Morales Riojas, President and CEO, MANA, A National Latina Organization. “As a person who has had roles that had a national impact, the duties of Director of the Office of Personnel Management will not be an unknown level of responsibility. She is an eminently qualified professional who happens to be Latina." 

“Katherine Archuleta is a supremely qualified nominee whose past government and especially federal background gives her a deep well of experience to expertly lead the Office of Personnel Management,” said Roger Rivera, President, National Hispanic Environmental Council and Co-Chair, NHLA Government Accountability Committee. “The Latino community appreciates the 62 Senators who voted to give Ms. Archuleta the final confirmation vote she deserves so can get to work addressing real issues facing the federal workforce, such as recruitment, retention, and Hispanic under-representation.” 

“It makes sense to confirm Katherine Archuleta to serve as Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM),” said Vilma Colom, National President of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women (NACOPRW, Inc). “Archuleta's commitment to the recruitment and retention of a diversified workforce is critical to our nation’s economic future. Her experience and dedication has prepared her to address the labor and employment priorities in an increasingly complex global economy.” 

“Given the great need for Latino public health leadership as our nation implements health reform, we congratulate this historic appointment,” said Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association

“We’re thrilled to see Ms. Archuleta bring her considerable experience and expertise to the office of Director of the Office of Personnel Management,” said Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. “She has long been a role model for young Latinas seeking roles in leadership and public service, and will no doubt continue to set an example of excellence and dedication." 

“The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) applauds the U.S. Senate for confirming Katherine Archuleta as Director of the Office of Personnel Management. As the first Hispanic to hold this office in the history of the nation, Ms. Archuleta is not only making history but also signaling the President’s and the Senate’s intent to close the persistent gap in Hispanic employment across federal agencies. At a mere 8.2 percent of the federal workforce, Hispanics remain the only underrepresented ethnic/racial population in the federal government,” said Antonio Flores, President & CEO of HACU. He added: “HACU and its more than 450 member institutions, which enroll nearly three out of every four of the three million Hispanic college students nationwide, stand ready to work with OPM and all federal agencies to erase that gap.” 

“We are excited that Ms. Archuleta will be heading the Office of Personnel Management,” said Al Gallegos, National President, National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives (NAHFE). “Her experience will no doubt help enhance the agency's ability to meet its mission of recruiting, retaining and honoring a world-class workforce for the American people. We look forward to working with her and establishing a long and fruitful relationship with OPM, especially as it relates to Hispanics in the Federal Workforce.”

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Established in 1991, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. 

In January, the coalition launched its new Latino Appointments Program to identify and support junior to Cabinet-level Latino candidates pursuing presidential and state-level appointments. For more information, please visit www.latinoappointments.org and follow @NHLAgenda.

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