Phillip Olaya serves as Policy Advisor for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. At the Initiative, Phil works on federal workforce diversification, language access, the President’s Advisory Commission, and immigration. He joined the Initiative from the Federal Election Commission, the agency responsible for the administration, interpretation, and enforcement of the nation’s campaign finance laws, where he serves as an attorney in the Enforcement Division.
Prior to the FEC, Mr. Olaya worked as an appellate attorney with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and on voting rights with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City, where he drafted a report that advocated for reauthorization of the federal Voting Rights Act and sought a numeric trigger to increase access to the language provisions under Section 203 of the Act for more recently-arrived Asian American voters from Southeast Asia.
Phil has been active in the AAPI community, serving on the board member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund. He has also served as co-chair of the final and regional competitions of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s International Thomas Tang International Moot Court Competition. Phil holds a B.A. in English and International Relations from Tulane University in New Orleans and a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law – Newark, where he served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Rutgers Race and & Law Review.