New Chief Confirmed for U.S. Government's HR Agency

The Senate voted 62-35 Oct. 30 to confirm Katherine Archuleta as director of the Office of Personnel Management for a four-year term.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has a new director today: Katherine Archuleta, whose long resume includes two years as chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Labor during Hilda Solis' term as secretary. President Obama nominated Archuleta, who had been the national political director for his 2012 re-election campaign, for the OPM post in May 2013, and the chairman of the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., has urged his colleagues to confirm her. The Senate finally did so Oct. 30 by a 62-35 vote.

Wrangling over the Affordable Care Act delayed her confirmation, with some senators upset that congressional aides and members themselves still have subsidized health care, rather than being required to enroll for care according to the health care reform law.Archuleta also has worked as a senior adviser for the city and county of Denver, a senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Energy, and as deputy chief of staff and later chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

OPM manages federal job postings and sets policy on government hiring procedures. It also conducts background investigations for prospective employees and security clearances across government, manages pension benefits and insurance programs for retired federal employees and their families, and provides training and development programs for federal employees and agencies.

OPM announced Oct. 30 that the executive branch during FY 2012 hired the highest percentage of military veterans in more than 20 years, 28.9 percent, which surpassed the previous high of 28.3 percent in FY2011.

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