On May 23, 2013, President Obama announced the nomination of Katherine Archuleta as the first Latina to head the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and on October 30, 2013, the Senate confirmed her to lead the Federal agency responsible for managing the Federal workforce. On Monday, November 4, 2013, Archuleta began her four-year term as the 10th Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the first Hispanic to lead the Federal agency.
OPM recruits, retains, and honors a world-class workforce for the 21st Century, and within that mission manages the human resources policy for the 1.9 million Federal employees, the 2.2 million Federal annuitants, and the 8 million employees, annuitants, and their families covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. Katherine Archuleta succeeds John Berry, whose term expired in April.
Born in 1949, Archuleta earned a B.A. in Elementary Education at the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 1971 and a M.Ed. at the University of Northern Colorado in 1976.
Starting her career as an educator, Archuleta taught 5-year-olds at Del Pueblo elementary school in Denver. Archuleta began her career in public service and community leadership when she met community activist and attorney Federico Peña in 1972 and joined his civil rights case demanding the government provide quality public education for Spanish-speaking students.
Eventually, Peña was elected mayor of Denver, and Archuleta served his administration in a number of roles from 1983 to 1991, including deputy chief of staff. After the end of Peña’s second term, Archuleta joined the faculty at the University of Denver as an adjunct professor from 1992 to 1993.
After the election of Bill Clinton to the White House in 1992, Peña was named Secretary of Transportation and asked Archuleta to join him as part of his leadership team in Washington. From 1993 to 1997, Archuleta served at the Department of Transportation (DOT), first as Peña’s deputy chief of staff and then as his chief of staff. When Peña left DOT to become Secretary of Energy, Archuleta served as his senior policy advisor there.
Leaving Washington and returning to Denver in 1997, Archuleta was co-founder and principal of the Center for Regional and Neighborhood Action from 1997 to 2000, and worked as director of professional services for large Denver law firm Davis, Graham and Stubbs from 2000 to 2002. As a leader in the Hispanic community, she served as the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation from 2002 to 2005.
Returning to Denver city government, Archuleta served as a senior advisor on policy and initiatives from October 2005 to May 2009, working closely with Mayor John Hickenlooper.
After the election of Barack Obama in 2008, Archuleta served as chief of staff to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis from 2009 to 2011. She was then appointed national political director for Obama for America, a position she held from 2011 to 2012.
She is married to Edmundo Gonzales, and she has one daughter, Graciela.