While outgoing US President Donald Trump had been keeping Indians at a distance by imposing several restrictions on the H1-B visas and hinting at reserving jobs in the country for Americans only, President-elect Joe Biden has given preference to Indo-Americans and appointed them in many key policy positions in the White House and his team.
As many as 20 Indo-Americans would adorn key posts in the White House under Biden’s administration. More surprising would be the fact that 13 of them are women.
It is significant to note that Biden has prominence to Indo-Americans as they have been playing a key role in the development of the US even when their population is very meagre in the country. Similarly, Biden also provided opportunity to people of various origins, thereby showcasing a lot of diversity in his governing body.
It may be recalled that even during electioneering, Biden hinted at giving a prominent place to the Indo-Americans in his team.
Biden is due to assume charge as the 59th President of US on January 20. Indo-American Kamala Harris, who was elected as the vice-president, would also take oath on the same day. Apart from having the credit of being the first woman vice president of the country, Harris will also be the first person of Indian origin and Asian-American to assume the office.
The next Indo-American to adorn a key post in Biden’s team is Neera Tandon who will be the director of Office of Management and Budget. Another Indo-American, Vivek Murthy, will act as American Surgeon General.
Other Indo-Americans in Biden’s team include Vinay Reddy, director of Biden’s speech writing group, Vedant Patel, assistant press secretary to President, Vanita Gupta, Assistant Attorney General in justice department, Ujra Jeya, Under Secretary in state department, Mala Adiga, policy director of the First Lady Dr Jill Biden, Garima Varma, digital director of the office of First Lady, Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary of First Lady, Aisha Shah, partnership manager in White House digital office, Sameera Fazili and Bharat Ram Murthy, deputy directors in National Economic Council.
Others in Biden coterie are Gautam Raghavan, deputy director, Office of Presidential Personnel, Tarun Chhabra, senior director, Technology and National Security, Sumona Guha, senior director of State Department South Asian wing, Shanti Kalathil, coordinator for human rights wing in foreign affairs, Sonia Agarwal, senior advisor of climate policy, Vidur Sharma, policy advisor on Covid crisis, Neha Gupta, associate counsel of White House and Reema Shah, deputy associate counsel of White House.