Responding to a boom in Maryland's Asian-American population, the state will open an Office of Asian Pacific American Affairs today.
Violeta de la Pena, 59, a Filipino-American resident of Oxon Hill in Prince George's County, will be the office's first director. Three-quarters of her $60,000-a-year salary will be paid by the federal government under an employee loan agreement.
Mrs. de la Pena is a native of the Philippines who came to the United States in 1955. She has worked for the federal government for 22 years, most recently as a computer systems analyst in the Department of Education.
Like the existing Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs, the office will be housed in the state Department of Human Resources. Mrs. de la Pena will serve as executive director of a 15-member advisory panel.