UNITED STATES: In an unprecedented move, US president Joe Biden has employed more than 130 Indian-Americans in key positions in his administration so far, representing the creamy layer of a community which makes up for one per cent of the American population.
Biden’s efforts have proved fruitful as he has not only delivered on his promise to the community that he had made as a presidential candidate in 2020, but also surpassed his predecessors, former Republican President Donald Trump, who had appointed more than 80 Indian-Americans and his previous boss, Barack Obama who employed nearly 60 Indian-Americans during his eight-year tenure in office.
More than 40 Indian-Americans have been elected at various state and federal levels including four in the U.S. House of Representatives. Furthermore, over 20 Indian-Americans lead top U.S. companies.
The first-ever presidential appointment was done during Regan’s time, this time Biden appointed Indian-Americans to nearly every top department and agency in his administration.
A Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, capitalist and philanthropist, M. R. Rangaswami spoke to PTI and said, “Indian-Americans have been imbued with the sense of Seva (service) and this is reflected in their enthusiasm to pursue positions in public service instead of the private sector.”
He added, “The Biden administration has now appointed or nominated the largest group to date and needless to say we are proud of our people and their accomplishments for the United States.”
Rangaswami is the founder and head of Indiaspora, a US-based global organisation for Indian-origin leaders.
Indiaspora also keeps a track of all Indian-origin leaders in the country. A list by the organisation attests to the truth that there are a rare number of Biden meetings that are unattended by Indian-Americans in the prestigious Oval Office.
According to the list prepared by Indiaspora, more than 40 Indian-Americans have been elected to various offices across the country. Four are in the House of Representatives, Dr Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal. This includes four Mayors.
Biden has long harboured an amicable relationship with the Indian community, even going so far as to make history by nominating his then-presidential rival, Indian-origin Kamala Harris for the post of vice-president in 2020.
Biden’s list of Indian-American colleagues is endless. His speech writer is Vinay Reddy, while his main advisor on the pandemic panel is Dr Ashish Jha, his advisor on climate policy is Sonia Aggarwal, his special assistant on criminal justice is Chiraag Bains, Kiran Ahuja heads the Office of Personnel Management, Neera Tanden is his senior advisor, and Rahul Gupta is his drug czar.
It must be emphasized that some of the most influential US-based multi-billion dollar companies in the world are led by the Indian diaspora in America.
On top of Sundar Pichai of Google and Satya Nadella of Microsoft, there are over two dozen Indian-American big-wigs heading American companies. Among others include Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Vivek Lall of General Atomics, Punit Renjen of Deloitte, and Raj Subramaniam of FedEx.