The list includes Dr Vivek Murthy, Neera Tandon and Vinay Reddy.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, alongside his new vice-president Kamala Harris. There are many firsts to commemorate, including Harris becoming the highest-ranking woman to hold office in US history, as well as the first Black American and first person of South Asian descent to hold the VP’s office. Additionally, at least 20 Indian-Americans have been appointed or nominated to be part of the Biden-Harris administration.
The Biden-Harris inauguration was a historic day in American history, as the country is witnessing severe economic crisis, deep social divisions and continues to struggle with the mounting cases and death toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
Neera Tandon: Nominated as the Director of Management and Budget, a high-ranking position in the Biden administration. The 50-year-old Indian-American headed the think tank Center for American Progress.
Dr Vivek Murthy: Nominated US Surgeon General.He had previously served as the surgeon general in the Obama administration. He will also chair Biden’s COVID-19 task force.
Vanita Gupta: Nominated as Associated Attorney General of Justice. She previously served as the head of the civil rights division in the Obama Administration. Biden had described Gupta as one of the most “respected” civil rights attorneys in America.
Uzra Zeya: Nominated as Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Right, an important position in the State Department. Zeya is of Kashmiri descent and was formerly the CEO of The Alliance for Peacebuilding.
Mala Adiga: Appointed as Policy Director to First Lady Dr Jill Biden. Her family is originally from Kakkunje village in Udupi district, Karnataka.
Garima Verma: Named Digital Director of the Office of the First Lady. She had served on the Biden-Harris campaign as an audience development and content strategist. She’s also worked in film and entertainment, including Paramount Pictures and ABC Network.
Sabrina Singh: Named White House Deputy Press Secretary. Previously, she had been the press secretary for Vice President Harris during the 2020 election campaign. On Wednesday, she tweeted that she was holding her first press briefing as part of the administration.
Aisha Shah: Partnerships Manager at the White House Office of Digital Strategy. She is a Kashmiri origin Indian-American and grew up in Louisiana.
Sameera Fazili: Deputy Director at the White House National Economic Council. She reportedly was part of the anti-India protest that took place in the United States after the abrogation of Article 370. She is of Kashmiri origin and had previously worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Bharath Ramamurti: Deputy Director of White House National Economic Council for financial reform and consumer protection. He previously served as an aide for Senator Elizabeth Warren and on her presidential campaign.
Gautam Raghavan: Appointed Deputy Director in the Office of Presidential Personnel. He was previously the Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. According to his Twitter bio, he is an immigrant and a naturalised citizen of the country.
Vinay Reddy: Appointed Director of Speechwriting. He is originally from Telangana in Pothireddypeta in Karimnagar district. He served as Biden’s speechwriter during his second term as vice president, and is the first Indian American to be appointed a presidential speechwriter.
Vedant Patel: Assistant Press Secretary to the president.He served as a senior spokesperson on the Biden-Harris inaugural committee, and had also served on Biden’s primaries campaign. He has also worked for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Congressman Mike Honda.
Three Indian-Americans have made their way to the crucial National Security Council of the White House, leaving a permanent imprint on the country’s foreign policy and national security:
Tarun Chhabra: Senior Director for Technology and National Security
Sumona Guha: Senior Director for South Asia
Shanthi Kalathil: Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights
Sonia Aggarwal: Named Senior Advisor for Climate Policy and Innovation in the Office of the Domestic Climate Policy at the White House
Vidur Sharma: Appointed Policy Advisor for Testing for the White House COVID-19 Response Team
Neha Gupta: Appointed Associate Counsel to the Office of the White House Counsel
Reema Shah: Deputy Associate Counsel to the Office of the White House Counsel:
South Asians in the Biden-Harris team include 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 as Senior Advisor to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff.
With PTI inputs
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