Kiran Ahuja, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Personnel Management, has said her goal is to free “black queer and trans people” from the “daily trials of white supremacy.” If confirmed, Ahuja would help set hiring standards and coordinate diversity training across the entire federal government.
Until her February nomination, Ahuja was the CEO of Philanthropy Northwest, a nonprofit that offers “diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused programs” to philanthropic foundations. In a blog post written last year on Philanthropy Northwest’s website, Ahuja pledged to play a “vocal role in our country’s eternal battle for racial equality.” The post cited a Guardian article by Ibram X. Kendi that proposed eliminating all “‘race-neutral’ policies that yield racial inequality.”
OPM is supposed to be a nonpartisan agency that manages the U.S civil service. It grew out of the 19th century Civil Service Commission, which sought to curb corruption and patronage by hiring personnel based on merit. The agency’s guiding principle, according to its website, is that “employees should be judged only on how well they can do the job.”
Kendi, whom Ahuja’s group hosted multiple times, has called standardized tests “the most effective racist weapon ever devised.”