Senate Confirms Katherine Archuleta as OPM Director

Becomes top HR officer in federal government

By SHRM Online staff Nov 8, 2013
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The U.S. Senate voted to approve the nomination of Katherine Archuleta as director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The confirmation makes Archuleta the top human resource officer in the federal government. She is the first person of Hispanic heritage to head the agency, which oversees most of the federal government’s HR policies and procedures.

The Senate’s 62-35 confirmation vote, on Oct. 30, 2013, came five months after President Obama nominated Archuleta. Her approval process was delayed when Senate leaders began squabbling over a section in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that requires members of Congress and their office staff to buy health insurance through government-operated exchanges, instead of through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Several GOP senators put a hold on Archuleta’s confirmation until the Obama administration answered questions about how the OPM would implement the PPACA provisions.

Archuleta, who served as the chief of staff for the Department of Labor from 2009 to 2011, became the national political director for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. She was nominated to replace John Berry, who resigned from the OPM director’s job in April 2013. Berry, who was the first openly gay man to head the OPM, was confirmed in July as the U.S. ambassador to Australia. Since his departure, Elaine Kaplan has served as acting director of the agency.

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