The U.S. Senate confirmed Shalanda Young as the White House Office of Management Budget director, making her the first Black woman to hold the position.
NBC News reports Young, who previously served as acting budget director, was confirmed in a bipartisan 61-36 vote Tuesday. The Tulane University graduate became the acting director last May when Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination amid stiff opposition from both Democratic and Republican senators.
The Office of Management and Budget works with federal agencies to oversee the execution of spending programs approved by Congress.
Before assuming the role, Young spent years on the House Appropriations Committee in several roles including as a director, clerk, and staff director.
According to the White House, Young oversaw $1.3 trillion in annual appropriations legislation, disaster aid, and COVID-19 spending.
Young’s confirmation was supported by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), and Republican Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.).
“I think it’d be hard for the Biden administration to do any better. She’ll do a good job, if they let her,” Shelby told The Hill during the vote on Tuesday, recalling his experience working with Young.
President Joe Biden pledged to make diversity a top priority in his administration during his presidential campaign run. Young’s confirmation makes her the fifth Black woman to be named to Biden’s cabinet. According to Share America, the Biden-Harris administration is the most diverse cabinet in U.S. history.
Among Biden’s 1,500 presidential appointees, which do not require Senate confirmation:
- 58 percent are women
- 8 percent identify as Black or African American.
- 15 percent identify as Latino or Hispanic.
- 15 percent identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander.
- 3 percent identify as Middle Eastern or North African.
- 2 percent identify as American Indian or Alaska Native.
- 14 percent identify as LGBTQ+.
- 4 percent are veterans.
- 3 percent identify as disabled or having a disability.