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The White House

Executive Order 13515 - Asian American and Pacific Islander Community


Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                                                                                October 14, 2009

Attached is an executive order signed by the President in an East Room ceremony today that restores the White House Advisory Commission and Interagency Working Group to address issues concerning the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.



By the authority vested in me as President by theConstitution and the laws of the United States of America,it is hereby ordered as follows:

             Section 1. Policy. The more than 16 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) across our country have helped build a strong and vibrant America. The AAPI communities represent many ethnicities and languages that span generations,and their shared achievements are an important part of theAmerican experience. They have started businesses and generated jobs, including founding some of our Nation's most successful and innovative enterprises. The AAPI communities have made important contributions to science and technology, culture and the arts, and the professions, including business, law,medicine, education, and politics.

             While we acknowledge the many contributions of the AAPIcommunities to our Nation, we also recognize the challenges still faced by many AAPIs. Of the more than a million AAPI-owned businesses, many firms are small sole-proprietorships that continue to need assistance to access available resources such as business development counseling and small business loans. The AAPI community also continues to face barriers to employment and workplace advancement. Specific challenges experienced by AAPI subgroups include lower college-enrollmentrates by Pacific Islanders than other ethnic groups and high poverty rates among Hmong Americans, Cambodian Americans, Malaysian Americans, and other individual AAPI communities.Additionally, one in five non-elderly AAPIs lacks healthinsurance.

             The purpose of this order is to establish a President'sAdvisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and a White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Each will work to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased access to, and participation in, Federal programs in which they may be underserved. In addition, each will work to advance relevant evidence-based research, data collection, and analysis for AAPI populations and subpopulations.

             Sec. 2. President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americansand Pacific Islanders. There is established in the Departmentof Education the President's Advisory Commission on AsianAmericans and Pacific Islanders (Commission).

             (a) Mission and Function of the Commission. The Commission shall provide advice to the President, throughthe Secretaries of Education and Commerce, as Co-Chairs ofthe Initiative described in section 3 of this order, on: (i) the development, monitoring, and coordination of executive branch efforts to improve the quality of life of AAPIs through increased participation in Federal programs in which such persons may be underserved; (ii) the compilation of research and data related to AAPI populations and subpopulations; (iii) thedevelopment, monitoring, and coordination of Federal effortsto improve the economic and community development of AAPI businesses; and (iv) strategies to increase public and private-sector collaboration, and community involvement in improving thehealth, education, environment, and well-being of AAPIs.

             (b) Membership of the Commission. The Commission shall consist of not more than 20 members appointed by the President.The Commission shall include members who: (i) have a historyof involvement with the AAPI communities; (ii) are from thefields of education, commerce, business, health, human services, housing, environment, arts, agriculture, labor and employment,transportation, justice, veterans affairs, and economic andcommunity development; (iii) are from civic associations representing one or more of the diverse AAPI communities;or (iv) have such other experience as the President deems appropriate. The President shall designate one member of the Commission to serve as Chair, who shall convene regular meetings of the Commission, determine its agenda, and direct its work.

             (c) Administration of the Commission. The Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce,shall designate an Executive Director for the Commission. The Department of Education shall provide funding and administrativesupport for the Commission to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations. Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently in the Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707). Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.) (the "Act"),may apply to the administration of the Commission, any functionsof the President under the Act, except that of reporting to the Congress, shall be performed by the Secretary of Education, inaccordance with the guidelines issued by the Administrator ofGeneral Services.

             (d) Termination Date. The Commission shall terminate 2 years from the date of this order, unless renewed by thePresident.

             Sec. 3. White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. There is established the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (Initiative), a Federal interagency working group whose membersshall be selected by their respective agencies. The Secretaryof Commerce and the Secretary of Education shall serve as theCo-Chairs of the Initiative. The Executive Director of the Commission established in section 2 of this order shall also serve as the Executive Director of the Initiative and shall report to the Secretaries on Initiative matters.

             (a) Mission and Function of the Initiative. The Initiative shall work to improve the quality of life of AAPIs through increased participation in Federal programs in which AAPIs may be underserved. The Initiative shall advise the Co-Chairs on the implementation and coordination of Federal programs as they relate to AAPIs across executive departments and agencies.

             (b) Membership of the Initiative. In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Initiative shall consist of senior officials from the following executive branch departments, agencies, and offices:

                          (i) the Department of State;

                          (ii) the Department of the Treasury;

                          (iii) the Depatment of Defense;

                          (iv) the Department of Justice;

                          (v) the Department of the Interior;

                          (vi) the Department of Agriculture;

                          (vii) the Department of Labor;

                          (viii) the Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment;

                          (ix) the Department of Transportation;

                          (x) the Department of Energy;

                          (xi) the Department of Health and Human Services;

                          (xii) the Department of Veterans Affairs;

                          (xiii) the Department of Homeland Security;

                          (xiv) the Office of Management and Budget;

                          (xv) the Environmental Protection Agency;

                          (xvi) the Small Business Administration;

                          (xvii) the Office of Personnel Management;

                          (xviii) the Social Security Administration;

                          (xix) the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs;

                          (xx) the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement;

                          (xxi) the National Economic Council;

                          (xxii) the Domestic Policy Council;

                          (xxiii) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;and

                          (xxiv) other executive branch departments, agencies,and offices as the President may, from 
                          time to time, designate.

             At the direction of the Co-Chairs, the Initiative mayestablish subgroups consisting exclusively of Initiative membersor their designees under this section, as appropriate.

             (c) Administration of the Initiative. The Departmentof Education shall provide funding and administrative supportfor the Initiative to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations. The Co-Chairs shall convene regularmeetings of the Initiative, determine its agenda, and direct its work.

             (d) Federal Agency Plans and Interagency Plan. Each executive department and agency designated by the Initiative shall prepare a plan (agency plan) for, and shall document, its efforts to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased participation in Federal programs in which Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders may be underserved. Where appropriate, this agency plan shall address,among other things, the agency's efforts to:

                          (i) identify Federal programs in which AAPIs may be underserved and improve the quality of 
                          life for AAPIs through increased participation in these programs;

                          (ii) identify ways to foster the recruitment, careerdevelopment, and advancement of AAPIs in 
                          the FederalGovernment;

                          (iii) identify high-priority action items for which measurable progress may be achieved within 2 
                          years toimprove the health, environment, opportunity, andwell-being of AAPIs, and implement 
                          those action items;

                          (iv) increase public-sector, private-sector, andcommunity involvement in improving the health,
                          environment, opportunity, and well-being of AAPIs;

                          (v) foster evidence-based research, data-collection, and analysis on AAPI populations and 
                          subpopulations, including research and data on public health, environment, education, housing, 
                          employment,and other economic indicators of AAPI community well­being; and

                          (vi) solicit public input from AAPI communitieson ways to increase and improve opportunities 
                          for public participation in Federal programs considering a number of factors, including language 

             Each agency, in its plan, shall provide appropriate measurable objectives and, after the first year, shall provide for the assessment of that agency's performance on the goals set in the previous year's plan. Each agency plan shall be submitted to the Co-Chairs by a date to be established by the Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs shall review the agency plans anddevelop for submission to the President a Federal interagency plan to improve the quality of life of AAPIs through increased participation in Federal programs in which such persons may be underserved. Actions described in the Federal interagency planshall address improving access by AAPIs to Federal programs and fostering advances in relevant research and data.

             Sec. 4. General Provisions.

             (a) This order supersedes Executive Order 13125 of June 7,1999, and Executive Order 13339 of 
             May 13, 2004.

             (b) The heads of executive departments and agencies shall assist and provide information to the 
             Commission, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the 
             Commission. Each executive department and agency shall bear its own expenses of participating 
             in the Commission.

             (c) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impairor otherwise affect:

                          (i) authority granted by law to an executivedepartment, agency, or the head thereof; or

                          (ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary,
                          administrative, or legislative proposals.

             (d) This order shall be implemented consistentwith applicable law and subject to the availability 
             of appropriations.

             (e) For purposes of this order, the term "Asian Americanand Pacific Islander" includes persons 
             within the jurisdiction of the United States having ancestry of any of the original peoples of East Asia, 
             Southeast Asia, or South Asia, or any of the aboriginal, indigenous, or native peoples of Hawaii and 
             other Pacific Islands.

             (f) This order is not intended to, and does not, createany right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
             enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or 
             entities, its officers, employees,or agents, or any other person.


October 14, 2009.

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