Former California Labor Secretary Julie Su could become the first Asian American secretary in President Joe Biden’s Cabinet.
The White House said Tuesday that President Joe Biden will nominate Su for the Secretary of the Department of Labor job. Su is currently the Deputy Secretary of Labor in his administration.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is stepping down for a new job at the National Hockey League Players Association.
Su, a daughter of Chinese immigrants who speaks fluent Mandarin, spent seven years as California’s top labor leader. She often appeared in the news during the pandemic talking about unemployment benefits.
She’s also facing criticism as the state was delaying some unemployment benefits while issuing billions for claims since revealed to be fraudulent..
Biden praised Su as a champion for workers, as she has led the largest state labor department in the U.S. on a wage theft crackdown, while fighting to protect trafficked workers, increasing the minimum wage and creating well-paying, high-quality jobs.
“Julie has spent her life fighting to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, that no community is overlooked,” Biden said.
There are currently no Asian Americans that hold a secretary ranking at the federal level, but three others of Asian descent are in the Cabinet, including Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Arati Prabhakar.
Su’s nomination will be discussed by the U.S. Senate before approval.
Han Li can be reached at [email protected]