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Obama nominates Indian American to key USAID post

Last updated on: July 02, 2010 09:02 IST

US President Barack Obama has nominated yet another Indian American, Nisha Desai Biswal, a long-time Congressional staffer, to a senior level position in his administration.

Among several nomination announced late last week, Biswal was nominated by Obama as assistant administrator for Asia in the US Agency for International Development -- the agency under the purview of the US Department of State -- which is headed by Dr Rajiv Shah, the senior-most Indian American in the administration.

Biswal is currently majority clerk for the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on the Committee on Appropriations in the US House of Representatives, which has jurisdiction over the State Department, USAID and other aspects of the international affairs budget.

In her position as majority clerk, she provides staff support to Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey and Subcommittee Chairwoman Nita Lowey in managing the appropriations and oversight of US international affairs budget.

Biswal was the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Inter Action, the largest alliance of US based international humanitarian and development non-governmental organisations.

She previously served on the professional staff of the House International Relations Committee where she was responsible for South and Central Asia policy as well as oversight of the State Department and USAID.

Biswal worked at USAID where she served as special assistant to administrator.

During her four years at USAID, Biswal also worked in the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Office of Transition Initiatives, and served as chief of staff in the Management Bureau.

She had also worked with the American Red Cross both in their Washington headquarters and overseas as an international delegate in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Aziz Haniffa in Washington