Back in early January, President Obama nominated Chris Lu as Deputy Secretary, Department of Labor. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because I had interviewed Lu back at the Democratic National Convention in September of 2012, when he was Obama’s cabinet secretary. Almost a year ago, Lu had stepped down as cabinet secretary to take some time off. Looks like Lu is ready to get back to work.
“Asian Americans have been pushing to fill sub-cabinet level positions –– an effort to build a strong bench for future selections to cabinet posts. Lu apparently would be only the second Asian American deputy secretary of a cabinet department in history, certainly in recent history. (Elaine Chao, former deputy secretary of Transportation in the Bush I administration, was the first.”
I’m not too surprised by this fact, but it is still kind of sad to hear there hasn’t been more progress made. But given Obama’s historic appointment of three cabinet level Asian Americans in his first term – with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of Veteran Affairs Gen. Eric Shinseki, and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, I think that is certainly progress! Best of luck with Lu getting confirmed. With a gridlocked Congress, you never know how much trouble Lu might have, though I don’t think his appointment will be controversial.