President Biden will nominate the current deputy, Julie Su, as his next labor secretary, replacing the departing incumbent, former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Walsh announced his intention to leave the administration earlier this month to lead the National Hockey League Players’ Association. Su will serve as the acting secretary until the Senate acts on her nomination.

Su is a former California official civil rights attorney and former head of California’s labor department, and was central to negotiations between labor and freight rail companies last year, working to avert a strike. If confirmed by the Senate, Su would also be the first Asian-American in the Biden administration to serve in the Cabinet at the secretary level.

President Biden said in a statement that Su is a “champion for workers… Julie is a tested and experienced leader, who will continue to build a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive economy that provides Americans a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead. She helped avert a national rail shutdown, improved access to good jobs free from discrimination through my Good Jobs Initiative, and is ensuring that the jobs we create in critical sectors like semiconductor manufacturing, broadband and healthcare are good-paying, stable and accessible jobs for all.”

Biden had been under pressure from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and other Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) advocates to select Su to head the department. This administration was the first in more than two decades to not have a Cabinet secretary of AAPI descent. If confirmed, Su would also expand the majority of women serving in the president’s Cabinet.

Editorial credit: JHVEPhoto /

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