The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) urges you to vote to confirm Kiran Ahuja as Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). We believe the combination of Ms. Ahuja’s experience and demonstrated commitment to diversity in the federal civil service is an excellent choice to lead OPM into the future.
OPM is essential to the productive operation of the federal government. It creates and implements human resource policies and services depended upon by the federal civilian workforce. Recently federal workers endured unwarranted attacks for carrying out their duties—including many who stayed on the job during the pandemic—and the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Despite the importance of OPM and its mission, since 2013 three Directors were confirmed by the Senate and six Acting Directors were appointed. OPM has not had the guidance of a permanent Director since March, 2019. The federal workforce is in urgent need of the stability provided by a Senate-confirmed Director.
Ms. Ahuja’s written testimony stated her goals of protecting merit system principles, support for federal employees and to “restore, rebuild and retool the federal workforce” if confirmed. Ms. Ahuja previously served as OPM Chief of Staff during the Obama Administration and understands the many issues faced by the federal workforce. As the Director of the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders she demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusivity that is essential to lead OPM into the future. Ms. Ahuja’s previous experience is a good foundation to encourage civil servants in their important work and to promote the value of an inclusive workforce.
The AFL-CIO believes Ms. Ahuja is an experienced public servant who will respect the federal civilian workforce and work collaboratively with their union representatives as stakeholders who are indispensable to the resolution of issues. We urge you to vote to confirm Ms. Ahuja’s nomination to be OPM Director.
Director, Government Affairs