US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that Indian-Americans are taking over the country, mentioning the increased number of people from the community acquiring a place in his administration.
In less than 50 days of his term of office, Biden has appointed at least 55 Indian-Americans to prime leadership positions in his administration, which range from his speechwriter to the NASA, and to almost every wing of his office.
“Indian-of-descent Americans (sic) are taking over the country. You (Swati Mohan), my Vice President (Kamala Harris), my speechwriter (Vinay Reddy),” Biden mentioned in a virtual communication with NASA scientists who were part of the historic landing of Perseverance landing at Mars.
Indian-American scientist Swati Mohan heads the guidance, navigation, and control operations of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. It is like a history where Biden, who was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on January 20, has appointed at least 55 Indian-Americans to important positions in his administration.
The number does not take in Vice President Kamala Harris, which is an elected position, and Neera Tanden, who a day earlier pulled out her nomination from the position of Director of White House Office of Management and Budget.
Nearly half of the appointed ones are women, and a considerate number of them are working in the White House. It is however, not the first time. The previous Donald Trump administration was not far behind as it selected the first-ever Indian-American with a cabinet rank and within the National Security Council. Until now, the Obama-Biden administration (2009-2017) has the division of employing the biggest number of Indian-Americans in any administration. But what makes it different this time is that the Biden presidency has for the first time delegated such a large number of Indian-Americans in the first 50 days of his administration.
“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!” renowned Indian-American philanthropist and Indiaspora founder M Rangaswami told PTI.
While the community is saddened that Tanden had to pull back her nomination because of stiff opposition from the Republicans, Indian-American women have attained a new height in the Biden administration. Biden sought to talk to Swati Mohan, Guidance and Controls Operations Lead, Mars 2020 though she is not a political appointee.
The list of 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.