President Biden Takes Action to Renew and Strengthen the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
President Biden signs an Executive Order to reauthorize the Commission through September 2025 and hosts commissioners at the White House.
WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, October 26, 2023, President Joe Biden welcomed members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders to the White House to discuss the Biden-Harris Administration’s government-wide approach to equity and ongoing efforts to address challenges faced by underserved Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities.
The historic meeting came just weeks after the President signed Executive Order 14109 to renew the Commission through September 2025. The action also amends Executive Order 14031 to provide commissioners with new authorities to more effectively communicate their work with the public. Established in May 2021, and co-chaired by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, the 25-member Commission of AA and NHPI leaders advises the President on ways the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities.
“From day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has made it a priority to advance equity through the federal government. And we commend the steadfast leadership of our President’s Advisory Commission, who have been tireless advocates for our nation’s diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities,” said HHS Secretary Becerra and Ambassador Tai. “Thanks to President Biden, this Commission is further empowered with the tools it needs to ensure AA and NHPI communities are continually seen and heard at the highest levels of government, and that equity remains at the forefront of our work.”
Building on President Biden’s executive actions, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) also announced steps to further improve the day-to-day administration of the Commission, including the hiring of additional permanent staff and the designation of Sarah Min as Deputy Chief Commissioner to support Chief Commissioner Sonal Shah. During the Commission’s meeting at the White House, President Biden also expressed his gratitude to departing commissioners Dr. Amy Agbayani, Michelle Ka‘uhane, and Ai-jen Poo.
Following the swearing-in of commissioners by Vice President Kamala Harris in February 2022:
- The Commission has held seven public meetings, submitted its inaugural report, and approved 70 recommendations for transmittal to the President on a rolling basis – many of which are now being implemented by federal agencies and the White House.
- Informed by the Commission’s recommendations, the White House released the Biden-Harris Administration's first-ever national strategy to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities on January 17, 2023. The strategy, which comprises WHIAANHPI's inaugural report to the President and action plans prepared by 32 federal agencies, builds on the Administration’s broader equity agenda and details much needed investments in AA and NHPI communities and priorities.
- The Biden-Harris Administration launched a series of in-person regional economic summits on January 25, 2023, implementing a key recommendation from the Commission and connecting AA and NHPI entrepreneurs and business leaders with federal resources in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York City, Seattle, and Honolulu.
- On July 6 and 7, 2023, commissioners met and hosted a listening session with AA and NHPI community members in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, marking their first convening outside of the continental United States.
- On July 20, 2023, WHIAANHPI convened experts, community leaders, and federal officials for the Biden-Harris Administration’s first-ever mental health summit focused on improving equity and access to behavioral health care for AA and NHPI communities – fulfilling another recommendation from the Commission.
- Building on the Commission’s efforts, WHIAANHPI launched “Demystifying Federal Grants,” a webinar series that aims to help nonprofits and community-based organizations learn more about federal grants and funding opportunities.
- On September 22, 2023, President Biden issued the first-ever proclamation to recognize National Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Week to honor the AANAPISI program’s essential role in empowering generations of underserved AA and NHPI students.
- Members of the public can view recommendations and reports approved by the full Commission at hhs.gov/whiaanhpi.
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI), established by President Joe Biden through Executive Order 14031, is charged with coordinating a whole-of-government agenda to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities.