Meet The 20 South Asians Who Are Part Of The Biden-Harris Administration
Breaking News Jan 22, 2021
Along with a brand new administration with an historical Vice President, there is also a record number of South Asians who are appointed or nominated to be part of the Biden-Harris Administration. Check out these political powerhouses right here.
Policy Director First Lady Dr. Jill Biden
Senior Advisor for Climate Policy and Innovation
She comes from being co-founder and Vice President at Energy Innovation where she led the America’s Power Plan, bringing together 200 electricity policy experts. She also managed research at the ClimateWorks Foundation and led research for the American Energy Innovation Council.
Senior Director for Technology and National Security
Chhabra also an alum from the Obama Administration served on the National Security Council staff as Director for Strategic Planning and Director for Human Rights and National Security Issues. He also served as the speechwriter for the Secretary of Defence at the Pentagon.
Chopra previously served as the commissioner for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which he helped launch after the 2008 financial crisis. While as the deputy director of the FTC he was responsible for sounding the alarm about the massive student debt crisis.
Deputy Director National Economic Council at the White House
Fazili previously served as the Director of Engagement for Community and Economic Development for the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta before she came on board the Biden-Harris Team as the Economic Agency Lead. She also served as the Senior Policy Advisor at the White House’s National Economic Council and as the Senior Advisor at the US Treasury Department in Domestic Finance and International Affairs during in the Obama-Biden Administration.
Senior Director for South Asia, National Security Council
Sumona Guha comes from being the Senior Vice-President at Albright Stonebridge Group. During the Obama-Biden administration she was the Special Advisor for national security affairs to Vice President Biden. She also served as the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer and as well as the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff focusing on South Asia.
Associate Counsel at the office of White House Counsel
Gupta previously served as the Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s office before she came on board as an attorney for the Office of General Counsel for the Biden-Harris transition team. She also clerked for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins of the US Court of Appeals in the Ninth District and Judge Richard Seeborg of the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
Associate Attorney General
Gupta is a noted civil rights attorney and was the United States former chief civil rights prosecutor. She also served as the acting assistant attorney general for the civil rights division. She would be the first woman of colour to be appointed this position.
Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights
Kalathil comes as the Senior Director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy. She also served as the Senior Democracy Fellow at US Agency for International Development. She also worked as an associate for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is a former journalist who worked in Hong Kong for the Asian Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Vivek Murthy
Surgeon General of The United States
Dr. Vivek Murthy has been picked to be the Surgeon General of the United States by President-Elect Joe Biden. This will be his second run at this position as he held that position, the very first South Asian person to do so, during December 2014 through April 2017.
Assistant Press Secretary
Patel previously worked as Communications Director to Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. During Biden’s primary run he worked as the Nevada and Western Primary States Communications Director. He also served as the Regional Communication director during Biden’s presidential campaign and is currently the senior spokesperson for the Biden Inaugural Committee.
Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel
Raghavan previously chaired the Congressional Progressive Caucus and was also the Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. He also served in the Obama-Biden Administration as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community as well as the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. Raghavan also worked in the White House Liaison Office for the US Department of Defence and as outreach lead for the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” initiative.
Deputy Director for the National Economic Council for Finance
Ramamurti comes from the Corporate Power program at the Roosevelt Institute where he served as the Managing Director. In April, he was brought on to serve in the Congressional Oversight Commission for the CARES Act. He was also the top economic advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren during her 2020 presidential campaign.
Director of Speech Writing
Reddy was the chief speechwriter for then Vice President Biden during the Obama-Biden second term. After which he went to work for the National Basketball Association as their Vice-President of Strategic Communications. He returned to politics when he was tapped to be the senior advisor and speechwriter for Biden-Harris campaign as well as the speechwriter for the Biden-Harris Transition team.
Partnerships Manager at the White Office of Digital Strategy
Having a strong foothold in the arts and non-profit space Shah was the an assistant manager on the Corporate Fund of the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts. She was also a Strategic Communications Specialist at Buoy where the focus was on social impact communications and helping non-profits use pop culture as a tool for engagement. Shah most recently was an advancement specialist at the Smithsonian Institution.
Deputy Associate Counsel at the Office of White House Counsel
Before she was part of the debate-preparation team for the Biden campaign, Shah was an associate at Latham & Watkins and a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General at the Department of Justice. She also clerked for Justice Elena Kagan at the US Supreme Court and for Judge Sri Srinivasan at the US Court of Appeals in the DC Circuit.
Testing Advisor for the White House COVID-19 Response Team
During the Obama-Biden administration, Sharma was the health policy advisor on the Domestic Policy Council and worked on Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. He has also worked tirelessly to counter President Trump’s efforts in repealing it.
Deputy Press Secretary to the Vice President
Singh was formerly Hillary Clinton’s Regional Communications Director during Clinton’s 2016 presidential run. She also served as the deputy communications director for the Democratic National Council. She continued her streak by being the senior spokesperson for Mike Bloomberg during his 2020 presidential campaign as well as National Press Secretary for Cory Booker’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget
Neera Tanden has always had a hand in public policy and politics dating back to 2000 when she held roles of legislative director, deputy campaign manager and issues director in Senator Hillary Clinton’s office. She then became policy director during Clinton’s official 2008 presidential run. Tanden continued on the policy path by becoming the Director of Domestic Policay for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign. During the Obama years, Tanden served as the senior advisor for health reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, playing an integral role during the development of The Affordable Care Act.
Digital Director to The First Lady Dr. Jill Biden
Verma comes from the entertainment & marketing world, working with Paramount Pictures, ABC Network, and Horizon Media. Verma lent her time to the campaign designing various graphics for the national roster of campaign volunteers. She then moved on to be the audience development and content strategist for the Biden-Harris campaign.
Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights
Zeya is the president of Alliance for Peacebuilding. She has over two decades of experience in the State Department including being the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State from 2011-2012 and helped shape the US response to the Arab Spring. She resigned from her position at the State Department during the Trump administration due to the administration’s alleged sexual and racial bias.
Main Image Photo Credit: www.twitter.com, www.ned.org, www.frbatlanta.org, www.thequint.com
Hina P. Ansari
Hina P. Ansari is a graduate from The University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario). Since then she has carved a successful career in Canada's national fashion-publishing world as the Entertainment/Photo Editor at FLARE Magazine, Canada's national fashion magazine. She was the first South Asian in...
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