JACL Applauds Establishment of White House Initiative on API's and Appointment of Krystal Ka’ai

Today, President Biden signed an executive order establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. He also announced Krystal Ka’ai as the new executive director for the initiative.


The new executive order outlines a comprehensive set of priorities for the administration to address in our AANHPI communities across all facets of the federal government. Although the initiative will be based in the Department of Health and Human Services, it is tasked with addressing issues of education, economic development and empowerment, climate and environmental justice as well as the inclusion of AANHPI’s in civic engagement through government program participation, voting rights, and Federal employment. The priorities highlighted in the executive order further align with the already released 2022 budget proposal. We look forward to working with the White House to elevate our AANHPI community along with the rest of the American people in addressing these challenges system-wide with the support of our government.


With such an ambitious agenda, we also congratulate and welcome Krystal Ka’ai as the new executive director for the initiative. Ms. Ka’ai has a long history of working with JACL and the AANHPI community through her past work in Congress and also as a program associate with the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation. In her previous role as executive director for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, she developed a familiarity with JACL’s policy priorities ranging from the broad areas of immigration to our support for the Japanese American Confinement Sites program. Ms. Ka’ai is also the first executive director for the initiative of Japanese and Native Hawaiian ancestry.


We look forward to working with Ms. Ka’ai and thank Laura Shin for her service as the interim executive director and the work she has done to reconnect the initiative with our communities.