WASHINGTON –President Joe Biden on April 14 announced Erika L. Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) senior liaison.
Moritsugu will bring her experience and expertise to the Biden-Harris Administration, where she will be a vital voice to advance the president and the administration’s priorities, the White House said.
Moritsugu, currently the vice president at National Partnership for Women & Families, has spent her career in the federal government and politics fighting for social justice and the empowerment of communities and individuals. She served as the assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental relations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the leadership of Secretary Julián Castro in the Obama Administration after being confirmed by the Senate in 2014.
Moritsugu was recently appointed as the vice president of a newly formed congressional relations team to lead an enterprise-wide advocacy strategy across all of the partnership’s program areas, including economic justice and health justice. Prior to her work at the National Partnership, she led the Government Relations, Advocacy and Community Engagement team at the Anti-Defamation League, a leading anti-hate organization that was founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-semitism and bigotry.
Moritsugu has diverse and deep experience on Capitol Hill and within governmental agencies. She served as the general counsel for Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, for whom she provided legislative and political strategic counsel and managed AAPI outreach and judiciary, civil rights and economic policies.
She was the deputy assistant director for legislative affairs at the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; deputy legislative director for Sen. Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii focused on economic policy and health issues; and held several different roles at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, including acting staff director and policy director and economic policy advisor.
Moritsugu previously worked at the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, the Prosecutor’s Office for the City and County of Honolulu, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Before recommitting to a career in public service, she practiced international trade, legislative, and immigration law at Hogan and Hartson and managed grassroots and coalition-building campaigns at The Wexler Group.
Moritsugu attended Brandeis University, the College of William and Mary, and George Washington Law School. Born in California and raised in Hawaii, Moritsugu lives on Capitol Hill with her husband, Brian, their two children, Vianne Leilani and Chester Likeke, and their two cats.