The Senate has confirmed Kiran Ahuja as director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) by a narrow vote, four months after President Biden nominated her to the position, Government Executive reported Tuesday.
Ahuja, who has led Philanthropy Northwest as CEO over the past four years, will return to the federal government’s human resources agency where she served as chief of staff from November 2015 to January 2017.
Vice President Kamala Harris had to cast a tie-breaking vote on the Senate floor to approve Ahuja as the next OPM head, according to the report.
Republican lawmakers voted against Ahuja’s nomination due to her views on the academic racial justice concept known as “critical race theory,” but she vowed to support federal diversity initiatives during her confirmation hearing.
“Throughout the confirmation process, she has demonstrated that she understands the mission of OPM and the importance of safeguarding the nonpartisan civil service,” Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., said about Ahuja.
OPM’s top position was held by five temporary directors since former Director Dale Cabaniss left the agency in March 2020.