US President-elect Joe Biden has elected 20 American-Indians including 13 women to take hold of important positions in his administration. Less than 100 hours remain for the 20th January inauguration where Biden would be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
Ahead of taking the president’s chair, Biden has created a record already: Roping 20 Indian-Americans in his administration to serve a country in which the ethnic population constitutes 1% of the entire population.
Biden’s swearing ceremony is already historic for the Indian community in the US and other countries. It will be the first time in the country’s history that an Indian woman would be sworn in as the Vice President of the country. Kamala Harris, 56, is the first-ever Indian-origin person to be sworn in as the US VP.
It will also be the first time that so many Indian-Americans will be welcomed in the mighty White House complex.
List of Indian-Americans included in the Biden-Harris Administration:
- Neera Tanden tops the list as she has been nominated as Director of the White House Office of Management of Budget.
- Dr. Vivek Murthy has been nominated by Biden as the US Surgeon General.
- Vanita Gupta has been nominated as the US’s Associate Attorney General in the Department of Justice.
- Uzra Zeya, who formerly worked as a foreign service official is nominated by Biden as the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights.
- Mala Adiga has been confirmed for the position of Policy Director to the future First Lady Jill Biden.
- Garima Verma will be serving as Digital Director of the Office of the First Lady.
- Sabrina Singh is named as First Lady’s Deputy Secretary.
- In welcome news for geopolitical diplomacy, Indian-Americans with roots in Kashmir have also been called to serve at the pleasure of the US President. Aisha Shah is named as the Partnership Manager in the White House Office of Digital Strategy. Sameera Fazili would be working in the White House as Deputy Director at US National Economic Council (NEC).
- The NEC will also have another Indian American as its Deputy Director, Bharat Ramamurti.
- Gautam Raghavan will be returning to the White House as Biden’s Deputy Director in Office of Presidential Personnel. Previously Raghavan served in the Obama administration.
There are a few key Indian-Americans who will be in Biden’s inner circle as well.
- Vinay Reddy is named as the Director Speechwriting for the President. Vedant Patel will occupy a seat in the White House as an Assistant Press Secretary to the President. Vedant Patel is the third-ever Indian-American to be part of the White House Press Department.
- In the crucial National Security Council of the White House, three Indian-Americans are all set to make an impression on the US’s foreign policy. They are: Shanthi Kalathil who will be the Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights, Sumona Guha who will be Senior Director for South Asia, and Tarun Chhabra, Senior Director for Technology and National Security.
- In the Office of the Domestic Climate Policy at the White House Sonia Aggarwal has been named a Senior Advisor for Climate Policy and Innovation. Vidur Sharma is appointed as the Policy Advisor for Testing for the COVID-19 Response Team of the White House.
- In the Office of the White House Counsel, two Indian-American women have been appointed by Biden. They are Neha Gupta who will serve as the Associate Counsel and Reema Shah who will act as Deputy Associate Counsel.
During his campaign, US President-elect Joe Biden had already talked about him wanting to bring in Indian Americans to his administration.
On the Indian Independence Day, Biden had reportedly said, “As President, I’ll also continue to rely on Indian-American diaspora, that keeps our two nations together, as I have throughout my career.”