Americans of Indian descent are taking over the country, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday, referring to the large number of people from the community being appointed to key positions in his administration, according to a PTI report from Washington.
Biden has appointed at least 55 Indian-Americans to important positions in his administration.
"Indian-of-descent Americans are taking over the country. You (Swati Mohan), my Vice President (Kamala Harris), my speech writer (Vinay Reddy)," Biden said in a virtual interaction with NASA scientists who were involved in the historic landing of Perseverance landing at Mars.
Indian-American scientist Swati Mohan leads the guidance, navigation, and control operations of NASA's Mars 2020 mission.
Nearly half of the Indian-Americans are women and a sizable number of them are working in the White House. Until now, the Obama-Biden administration (2009-2017) had the distinction of appointing the largest number of Indian-Americans in any administration, the previous Donald Trump administration also had a significant number as it had also appointed the first ever Indian-American with a cabinet rank and as a member of the National Security Council.
In the past week, Dr Vivek Murthy testified before a Senate Committee for US Surgeon General and Vanita Gupta is all set to appear for her confirmation hearing for Associate Attorney General Department of Justice.
"It is impressive to see how many Indian-Americans were ready to go into public service. There have been so many additions since we launched our Government Leaders list last month on Presidents Day. I am so proud to see our community is going from strength to strength!," eminent Indian-American philanthropist and Indiaspora founder M Rangaswami told PTI.
Indian-American women appointed by Biden include Uzra Zeya, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, State Department; Mala Adiga: Policy Director to Dr Jill Biden; Aisha Shah: Partnership Manager, White House Office of Digital Strategy; Sameera Fazili, Deputy Director, US National Economic Council (NEC); Sumona Guha: Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council, White House; and Sabrina Singh: Deputy Press Secretary, Vice President White House.
Shanthi Kalathil has been appointed as Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights, National Security Council, White House; Garima Verma has been named as Digital Director of the Office of the First Lady; Sonia Aggarwal as Senior Advisor for Climate Policy and Innovation; Office of Domestic Climate Policy, White House; Neha Gupta: Associate Counsel, Office of White House Counsel; and Reema Shah as Deputy Associate Counsel, Office of White House Counsel.
Tanya Das has been appointed as Chief of Staff, Office of Science, Department of Energy; Shuchi Talati: Chief of Staff, Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy; Mini Timmaraju: Senior adviser to the director, Office of Personnel Management ; Sohini Chatterjee: Senior Policy Advisor US Mission to the United Nations, Aditi Gorur: Policy Advisor, US Mission to the United Nations; and Bhavya Lal is the Acting Chief of Staff, NASA.
Dimple Chaudhary has been appointed as Deputy General Counsel for Nationwide Resource Protection Programs, Environmental Protection Agency; Sharmistha Das is the Deputy General Counsel, Department of Homeland Security; Ruchi Jain is the Deputy Solicitor for General Law, Department of Interior; Meera Joshi is the Acting Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Administration, Department of Transportation; Aruna Kalyanam is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax and Budget, Department of the Treasury.
However, Neera Tanden had to withdraw her nomination from the position of Director of White House Office of Management and Budget due to stiff opposition from the Republicans.