US President Joe Biden holds a pen as he prepares to sign a series of orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, after being sworn in at the US Capitol on January 20, 2021
US President Joe Biden holds a pen as he prepares to sign a series of orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, after being sworn in at the US Capitol on January 20, 2021
AFP

Kamala Harris on Wednesday made history as the first woman to hold the office of Vice President. Not only that, with her links to India and Jamaica, Harris is also the first Black and first South Asian American vice president in US history. But the 'desi' link in the Biden administration is not limited to just one person.

Over the last few weeks, Joe Biden had named several Indian-origin individuals to key administrative posts - from White House Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh to Policy Advisor for COVID-19 testing, Vidur Sharma.

Here's a full list:

1. Neera Tanden - The American political consultant was born to immigrant parents from India and has worked on various Democratic senatorial and presidential campaigns, including for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She is Biden's pick to be Director, Office of Management and Budget.

2. Vivek Murthy - The Indian-American physician was selected to co-chair Biden's COVID-19 taskforce. His parents hailed from Karnataka and had immigrated to the US. During the Obama administration, he had been appointed as America's 19th Surgeon General.

3. Vanita Gupta - The second generation Indian American was Biden's pick for Associate Attorney General of the US. When confirmed, she will become the first woman of colour to hold the post.

4. Shanthi Kalathil - A senior director for the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy, she has now been appointed as the Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights in the Biden administration.

5. Tarun Chhabra - A member of the Obama-Biden administration, he has previously served as a member of the National Security Council and as a speechwriter for the Secretary of Defense. In the Biden-Harris administration, he will be a Senior Director for Technology and National Security.

6. Vedant Patel - A senior spokesperson of the Biden inaugural committee and formerly the Regional Communications Director of the president's campaign, the Indian-American has been appointed as the Assistant Press Secretary.

7. Gautam Raghavan - Born in India, he had served as the associate director of the Office of Public Liaison during the Obama era. He has now been appointed as the Deputy Director of the White House's Personnel Office.

8. Sameera Fazili - The Kashmiri-origin attorney and financial expert had been working as the Director of Engagement for Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She has joined Biden's National Economic Council as Deputy Director.

9. Aisha Shah - Born in Kashmir, she had been a part of the Biden-Harris campaign prior to her current role as a Partnerships Manager at the White House Office of Digital Strategy.

10. Garima Verma - Born in India, she had worked with media organisations in the past. After a stint as an audience development and content strategist on the Biden-Harris campaign, she now joins the administration as First Lady Jill Biden's digital director.

11. Vinay Reddy - This Indian-American has been making news headlines for the past few days as reports revealed that he was the speechwriter behind President Biden's inaugural address. Villagers of Pothireddypeta in Karimnagar district, about 200 km from Hyderabad, had cheered as he was named the Director of Speechwriting.

12. Vidur Sharma - The Indian-origin health policy expert was recently named to Biden's COVID-19 Response Team as the Policy Advisor for Testing. During the Obama administration, he had served as a health policy advisor on the Domestic Policy Council.

13. Sumona Guha - Appointed as the Senior Director for South Asia in the Biden administration, she has held multiple positions in the US government. The US Department of State lists her as a member of the policy planning staff. In the past she has also served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and as a Special Advisor for National Security Affairs in the Office of the VP and more.

14. Sonia Aggarwal - An expert on climate change and energy, she has in the past led America's Power Plan and directed the team that developed the Energy Policy Simulator. She is Biden's pick for Senior Advisor for Climate Policy and Innovation in the Office of the Domestic Climate Policy.

15. Sabrina Singh - Appointed as the Deputy Press Secretary to the Vice-President Kamala Harris (she had been Press Secretary to Harris while she was VP-elect), she has worked with various Presidential hopefuls and lawmakers - from Mike Bloomberg and Cory Booker to Hillary Clinton.

16. Neha Gupta - Formerly a Deputy City Attorney in San Francisco, she had also been an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the Biden-Harris Transition. She now joins the administration as Associate Counsel in the White House.

17. Uzra Zeya - Another individual of Kashmiri-origin, she joins the Biden team as the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security. The CEO and president at the Alliance for Peacebuilding has over three decades of experience in foreign service.

18. Reema Shah - Another appointee to the White House legal advisory team, she has been named as the named as Deputy Associate Counsel in the White House.

19. Mala Adiga - The Karnataka-origin official has served as a part of the Obama administration, as well as being a part of the Biden-Harris campaign. She now joins First Lady Jill Biden's team as policy director.

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