President Joe Biden has nominated two women of color to lead the Office of Management and Budget, which has been called “the nerve center of the government”.
According to the White House, Nani Coloretti, former Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will take over as deputy director while Shalanda Young, who has been serving as acting director of OMB, will serve as its director.
If confirmed by the Senate, the Filipino American Coloretti would become one of the highest-ranking Asian Americans in the administration. Young, on the other hand, would be the first Black woman to serve in the top role in the agency.
“Today it’s my honor to nominate two extraordinary, history-making women to lead the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said in a video announcement released Wednesday, Nov. 24.
“A proud Filipino-American, Nani will be one of the most senior Asian American leaders in government, Biden said. “I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm them again so they can lead OMB at this important time.”
The president also cited the historic nominations as he continues to build what he called “the most diverse presidential cabinet in history” and noted both had previously won Senate confirmation for other posts.
The OMB oversees the $4 trillion federal budget and helps coordinate operations and regulations across the government, giving it significant influence over the President’s agenda.
Coloretti currently serves as senior vice president for financial and business strategy at the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC-based think tank that conducts economic and social policy research.
“This will be a homecoming for Nani, who started her career as a presidential management fellow at OMB,” Biden said.
Before joining HUD under the Obama administration, Coloretti spent five years at the US Department of Treasury and helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where she served as its chief operating officer.
“I think the broader challenge for me as a Filipino American who is half Filipina is to make sure that my voice can be heard in an effective way. I think it helps that I come from a diverse state of people with different ways of communicating and interacting,” Coloretti said in a 2016 interview with the Asian Journal. “I also think that any challenge can also be an opportunity. So, being someone who is different from others in a table can be helpful, particularly if I am operating with both ears open and with curiosity.”
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Coloretti spent several years as a policy adviser and budget director for then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.