HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Friday, May 28, President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI).
He has selected Hawaii native Krystal Ka’ai to serve as Executive Director of the Initiative.
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Ka’ai has served as the Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) since 2013 where she worked to advance key priorities impacting the AAPI community, including health care, immigration, education, and more. She was also the first Native Hawaiian in that role, leading legislative and outreach strategy for more than 70 members of Congress.
“The appointment of Krystal Kaʻai serves as a beacon of hope and provides a sense of place for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. We are excited and eager to work with Krystal and the Biden Administration to address the important needs of our community” said Kūhiō Lewis, President and CEO for the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.
The Kamehameha Schools graduate will now be tasked with coordinating the federal government’s response to the spike in anti-Asian violence. Read more about the Initiative here.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, also offered their congratulations on Twitter.
“Excited to see the news that former Hawaiʻi resident Krystal Kaʻai has been appointed by @POTUS to lead as the Executive Director of the White House’s expanded initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders,” said Ige.
“Krystal’s strong Hawaii ties will provide an important perspective in her work as Executive Director,” Hirono said. “I look forward to working with her to advance our shared goals and community values at the White House.”