US President-elect Joe Biden has nominated at least 20 Indian-Americans, including 13 women, to key positions in his incoming administration, a record for the small ethnic community that constitutes 1% of America’s population.
As many as 17 of them would be part of the Biden administration in the powerful White House complex. The January 20th inauguration, where Mr. Biden, 78, would be sworn in as the 46th President of the US, is already historic as it is for the first time ever that a woman, Kamala Harris, would be sworn as the Vice-President of the country. Ms. Harris, 56, is also the first-ever Indian-origin and African-American to be sworn in as the Vice-President of the US.
It is also for the first time ever that so many Indian-Americans have been roped into a presidential administration ever before the inauguration. Mr. Biden, a Democrat, is still quite far away from filling all the positions in his administration.
Topping the list is Neera Tanden, who has been nominated as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget and Dr. Vivek Murthy, who has been nominated as the US Surgeon General. Vanita Gupta has been nominated as Associate Attorney General Department of Justice and on Saturday. Mr. Biden nominated former Foreign Service official Uzra Zeya as the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights.
“The dedication that the Indian-American community has shown to public service over the years has been recognised in a big way at the very start of his administration! I am particularly pleased that the overwhelming majority are women. Our community has truly arrived in serving the nation.”
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.
For the first time, 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 (NEC) in the White House.
White House National Economic Council also has another Indian-American, Bharat Ramamurti, as Deputy Director. Gautam Raghavan, who served at the White House; in the previous Obama administration returns to; the White House as Deputy Director in Office of Presidential Personnel.
Among Mr. Biden’s inner circle is his top confidant for years 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, 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 crucial National Security Council; of the White House, thus leaving a permanent imprint on the country’s foreign policy and national security.