President Biden has nominated Kiran Ahuja, who was OPM chief of staff for several years during the Obama administration and who most recently led the Biden transition team for the agency, to become the next OPM director.
She is a former Justice Department attorney whose other positions include leadership in the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under Obama, and most recently a regional network of philanthropic institutions.
Federal employee organizations and good government groups praised the nomination, with the NTEU union for example saying that “we believe this appointment will result in steady, professional leadership” after years in OPM has suffered from “a revolving door of leadership and interim appointees who never fully committed to the agency and its mission.”
OPM has been led on just an acting basis for all but about one year total since mid-2015 when the then-director resigned following disclosure of the breaches of databases containing personal information on more than 21 million current and federal employees plus others who had undergone background investigations. The two confirmed directors under President Trump each resigned abruptly after less than a year, reportedly due to disputes with White House officials.