As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, House Veterans Affairs Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif., said he is “profoundly disappointed” with his failure to appoint a person of Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent to serve in his Cabinet.
Takano made his critical remarks during an interview with the PBS NewsHour about his agenda for the Veterans Affairs Committee in the 117th Congress.
He said he is looking forward to the incoming Biden administration, but that his will be the first administration in 20 years not to have an AAPI leading an executive department.
“As much as I view myself as a friendly ally of this president, I think he’s erred in [that] he has chosen to exclude Asian Americans from his 15 Cabinet secretaries,” said Takano, who also has a leadership position in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).
A spokesperson for the Biden transition declined to comment Monday on the issue of Cabinet secretaries. But incoming White House spokesperson Jen Psaki has previously highlighted what she described as the incoming administration’s historic diversity.