Erika Moritsugu

Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison, White House

Erika L. Moritsugu was appointed by President Joe Biden in April 2021 to serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and AA and NHPI Senior Liaison. With a distinguished career in the federal government and non-profit advocacy, she has spent her professional and personal life fighting for social justice and the empowerment of communities and individuals. At the White House, Erika supports the Administration on a wide array of the President’s priorities and engages with AA and NHPI communities and leaders on important issues such as advancing safety, justice, inclusion, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities through a whole-of-government approach to racial justice. Her past government service includes serving 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 and was the first-ever Senate Deputy Legislative Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On Capitol Hill, she was a senior representative of Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawai’i, and at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. In the non-profit sector, Erika led two teams the National Partnership for Women & Families for economic justice and congressional relations advancing workforce and health policies focused through a gender equity and race equity lens. Erika has also led the Government Relations, Advocacy and Community Engagement team at the Anti-Defamation League, a leading anti-hate organization.

Erika is speaking at

July 17, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:15 pm


  • Gregg Orton (Moderator) National Director, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
  • Senator Joe Nguyen (Speaker) Senator, Washington State Senate
  • Alex Lee (Speaker) Assemblymember, State of California, 25th Assembly District
  • Krystal Ka'ai (Speaker) Executive Director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
  • Erika Moritsugu (Speaker) Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison, White House
  • Congressman Ted Lieu (Speaker) Congressman, California 33rd Congressional District, United States House of Representatives


The AAPI electorate is a formidable community with the power to shape and influence elections down the ticket throughout the U.S. As AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in the country, it is essential that our community remain vigilant about voting and achieving representation at a proportional rate to elected office.

This closing plenary features a panel of rising AAPI officials at the local, state, and federal levels from across the country. Discussions will focus on their respective paths to elected office, challenges they face in their roles as AAPI officials, and the urgent need to pass the most significant voting rights and democracy reform in more than half a century: The For the People Act.

This event is presented in collaboration with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).

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