Indian Americans abound in Biden-Harris Administration

Daya Gamage

Vice President Kamala Devi Harris is not the only high-ranking member of Biden administration who has Indian connection, and a Tamil who has Sri Lankan connection holding a very senior position under Harris: President Biden’s top policy-makers – 19 for now– are Indian-Americans, one, who had worked with Secretary Hilary Clinton when Clinton was obstructing the Government of Sri Lanka during the elam War IV, is now President Biden’s South Asia director in the most vital White House National Security Council. Two women are of Kashmir-origin during a time Indian government has issues with Kashmir region.

Another two are in the National Security Council and in the Department of Justice who had worked during the Obama administration on human rights issues connected to South Asia.

Here’s the List:

  1. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL – (Ms) Sumona Guha – Senior Director for South Asia in NSC – Previously served in policy planning staff under Secretary Hilary Clinton. During her tenure in the State Department under Obama her portfolio included South and Central Asia– Was South Asia foreign policy working group on Biden-Harris Campaign – Former Foreign Service officer (FSO), State Department focusing on South Asia.

  1. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL – (Ms) Shanthi Kalathil – Coordinator for Human Rights and Democracy.

  1. Ms) Reema Shah – Deputy Associate Counsel – WH Counsel Office

  1. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL – Tarun Chabbra – Senior Director for Technology – NSC – Served in Obama administration as Director for HR & National Security in NS Council.
  2. (Ms) Vanita Gupta – Associate Attorney General – US Dept of Justice – Previously served in Human Rights Division of the Dept of Justice

  1. (Ms) Mala Adigar – Policy Director, White House – Served in Obama administration Director of Human Rights on National Security staff.

  1. Uzra Zeya – Under Secretary for Democracy & Human Rights – Dept of State: Formally South Asia Human Rights – State Department 1990-2018 US Foreign Service – 2012-2014 Asst. Sec. – Bureau of Democracy & Human Rights.

  1. Dr. Vivek Murthy – Surgeon General

  1. (Ms) Aisha Shah – Partnership Manage – White House Digital Strategy

  1. (Ms) Sameera Fazili – Deputy Director – US Economic Council

  1. Bhart Ramamurti – Deputy Director – US Economic Council
  2. Gautam Raghavan (Born in India) – Deputy Director – Office of Presidential Personnel

  1. Vinay Reddy – Director for Speechwriting – White House
  2. Vendant Patel – Asst Press Secretary – White House

  1. (Ms) Sonia Aggarwal – Senior Advisor – Office of Domestic Climate Policy

  1. Vidur Sharma – Policy Advisor – White House

  1. (Ms) Neha Gupta – Associate Counsel – White House Counsel Office

  1. (Ms) Reema Shah – Deputy Associate Counsel – WH Counsel Office

 One could see that many appointees had human rights/democracy promotion background, and had closely working in portfolios connected to South Asia. The top three (1, 2 & 3 ) will maintain working relationship with the US Department of Homeland Security’s Human Rights and War Crimes Division, while overlooking the process in the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. The Biden administration is expected to re-enter the UNHRC soon.



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