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A bipartisan agreement to preserve the Senate filibuster paved the way for Kent Hirozawa ’82 to become the first Asian American on the National Labor Relations Board. Hirozawa, formerly chief counsel to NLRB chairman Mark Pearce, was confirmed on July 30.

Republicans had balked when Barack Obama recess-appointed two stalled nominees in 2012, but eventually agreed to Hirozawa and another nominee as replacements, creating a full Senate-confirmed NLRB for the first time since 2003.

At his confirmation hearing, Hirozawa focused on the mission at hand: “I once heard another employee described as pro-act. Not pro-union or pro-management, but pro-act, dedicated solely to advancing the policies and purposes of the National Labor Relations Act, without regard for the identities or alignments of the parties. That has always struck me as an apt term of praise for an employee of the board, and that is what I will aspire to.”

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