At least 20 Indian-Americans, including 13 women, to key positions in US President-elect Joe Biden upcoming administration, a record for the small community that constitutes one per cent of America’s population. As many as 17 of them, including Neera Tanden who has been nominated as the Director of Management and Budget, would be part of the White House. The January 20th inauguration, where Biden, 78, would be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States is already history in the making as for the first time ever a woman, Kamal Harris, would be sworn as Vice-President of the country. Harris, 56, is also the first-ever Indian-origin and African-American to become the Vice-President of the United States.
It is also the first time that so many Indian-Americans have been roped into a presidential administration ever before the inauguration. Topping the list Taden, who has been nominated as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget and Dr Vivek Murthy, who has been nominated as Associate Attorney General in the Department of Justice, and on Saturday, Biden named former foreign service official Uzran Zeya as the Under Secretary of the State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights.
Mala Adiga has been appointed as Policy Director to the future first lady Dr Jill Biden and Garima Verma would be the Digital Director of the office of the First Lady, while Sabrina Singh has been named as the White House Deputy Press Secretary.
The Indian-Americans nominated for Biden administration include two who trace their roots to Kashmir-Aisha Shah, who has been named as Partnership Manager at the White House Office of Digital Strategy and Sameera Fazili, who would occupy the key position of Deputy Director at the US National Economic Council in the White House. The council also has another Indian-American, Bharat Ramamurti, as Deputy Director.
Gautam Raghavan, who served at the White House in the Obama administration returns as Deputy Director in Office of Presidential Personnel. Among Biden, sinner circle is Vinay Reddy, who has been named as Director Speechwriting. Young Vedant Patel is all set to occupy a seat in the White House lower press shop, behind the briefing room, as Assistant Press Secretary to the President. He is only the third-ever Indian American to be part of the White House press shop. Three Indian-Americans have made their way to the National Security Council of the White House. They are Tarun Chhabra, Senior Director for Technology and National Security, Sumona Guha, Senior Director for South Asia, Shanhi Kalathili, Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights. Sonia Aggarwal has been named Senior Advisor for Climate Policy and innovation in the Office of the Domestic Climate Policy at the White House and Vidur Sharma has been appointment as Policy Advisor for Testing for the White House Covid-19 Response Team. Two Indian-American women have been appointed to the Office of the White House Counsel: Neha Gupta as Associate Counsel and Reema Shah as Deputy Associate Counsel.
The White House would have three other South Asians in key positions- Pakistani-American Ali Zaidi as Deputy National Climate Advisor White House; Sri Lankan American Rohini Kosoglu as Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President and Bangladeshi-American Zayn Siddique: Senior Advisor to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff.