Julie Su speaks during a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for her to be Deputy Secretary of Labor, on Capitol Hill, March 16, 2021, in Washington. Image Credit: AP file

Washington: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated Labor Department Deputy Secretary Julie Su to head the agency after current Secretary Marty Walsh departs next month.

"Julie has spent her life fighting to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, that no community is overlooked, and that no worker is left behind," Biden said in a statement.

"Over several decades, Julie has led the largest state labour department in the nation, cracked down on wage theft, fought to protect trafficked workers, increased the minimum wage, created good-paying, high-quality jobs, and established and enforced workplace safety standards," he said.

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Su is already being prepared for her Senate confirmation hearing, sources familiar with the decision said.

There was a concerted push to get Biden to appoint Su to the role both for her familiarity with the agency and labour policy. She was expected to take over as acting secretary after Walsh stepped down.

There is currently no Asian American or Pacific Islander in the Cabinet at the secretary level and Su recently scored endorsements from the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

In a letter to Labor Department colleagues announcing his exit, Marty Walsh called Su an "incredible leader" who "has been central to our success as a team and as a Department."