Tengco, Touton: 2 FilAms join Biden-Harris administration

Tengco with Joe and Jill Biden in July 2020 when he joined the campaign as Chief of Staff for the Coalitions Department. Facebook photo

Jason Benjamin Alinea Tengco

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced several political appointees to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Among them, Filipino American Jason Benjamin Alinea Tengco, White House Liaison for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The group will work alongside OPM civil servants in support of OPM’s mission and the Biden Administration’s commitment to build a federal workforce that reflects the diversity of America.

“President Biden made a promise to the American people that he would assemble diverse and talented teams that look like America, and today he continues to fulfill that promise,” said Chris Canning, incoming Chief of Staff. “We are looking forward to joining the hardworking and committed civil servants at OPM to support and empower the federal workforce.”

OPM works in several broad categories to lead and serve the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted effective civilian workforce, with over 80 percent of federal employees living and working outside of the Washington, DC area.

OPM’s team of political appointees reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to diversity, with more than 85 percent of OPM First Week appointees identifying as people of color, women, or LGBTQ.

Jason Tengco recently served as the Chief of Staff for the Biden-Harris campaign’s Coalitions Department and then was the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Outreach Lead on the transition team. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, National AAPI Outreach Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on AAPIs. He has a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and a Master’s in Public Affairs from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.

Touton speaking before the MIT Water Club in 2015. Twitter photo

Camille Calimlim Touton

Also in Washington D.C., California Rep. Grace F. Napolitano issued a statement announcing that her long-time water policy advisor, Camille Calimlim Touton is being named Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.

She said, “I congratulate President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary-designate Deb Haaland on their excellent choice, their appointment of Camille Touton as the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. Ms. Touton has been one of my most trusted advisors on water policy for over a decade. She is an engineer, who has counseled U.S. Senators, Members of Congress, and was a leader in the Obama Administration’s Department of Interior’s Office of Water and Science.

“Ms. Touton is a master of the complicated issues of Western water policy, who fully understands the grave threats posed by climate change and unpredictable drought cycles. She is well respected by the wide spectrum of water leaders, including Democrats and Republicans, federal, state, and local water officials, and non-governmental groups.

“Her appointment is also historic, as Ms. Touton becomes the first Filipino American to serve in this important agency leadership role.

“Although I am losing Ms. Touton for a second time to the Administration, I couldn’t be happier for her, and I am glad the Department is again, getting her great leadership, competency, and expertise.”

Entertainment journalist Ruben Nepales writes that Touton’s parents are from his home province of Pangasinan.

NaFFAA continues to update its list of newly elected, re-elected Filipino American officials in 2020. Email info@naffaa.org for information.

© The FilAm 2021

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