Young, Coloretti gain support for OMB director nomination

March 23, 2021: Outside groups advocate for Shalanda Young and Nani Coloretti for director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration.

  • The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is holding a confirmation hearing for Samantha Power for administrator of the United States Agency for International Development on Tuesday.
  • The Senate confirmed Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as secretary of labor on Monday by a vote of 68-29. All 29 votes against his nomination came from Republicans. Kim Janey, a member of the Boston City Council, became the acting mayor of Boston.


  • Biden is expected to appoint Jeffrey Feltman, a former senior United Nations official, as the special envoy for the Horn of Africa. The newly created position would be focused on the armed conflict in Ethiopia.
  • The Biden administration named career foreign service officer Ricardo Zúñiga as the special envoy for the Northern Triangle countries: Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The State Department said, “He also will hold our partners accountable for their commitments to address root causes of migration and the increase in arrivals of unaccompanied children at the U.S. southern border.” 
  • Biden nominated Lina Khan, an associated professor at Columbia Law School focused on antitrust law, to lead the Federal Trade Commission on Monday. 
  • Biden will hold the first political fundraiser of his presidency on Friday for Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D), who is seeking re-election.
  • The Washington Post reported that Asian American advocacy groups have coalesced around Nani Coloretti as a potential nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Shalanda Young, nominee for deputy director of the OMB, is considered the frontrunner for the position. Ann O’Leary withdrew from consideration on Monday.

Transition in Context: What are special envoys?

Special envoys are agents appointed as the personal representative of the president or the secretary of state. They are often appointed in response to congressional or public attention to a particular region or issue.

President George Washington made the first such temporary diplomatic appointment in 1789, naming a private agent focused on normalizing diplomatic relations with Britain.

Special envoys can operate outside of the typical reach of an ambassador to address complex, multilateral issues. Critics of special envoys say they undercut the State Department.

Since they are responsive to the needs of each administration, there is no set number of special envoys. Biden, for example, created a new position when he appointed former Secretary of State John Kerry as the special presidential envoy for climate.

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