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Obama's superstars to aid Indian American Ro Khanna

April 10, 2013 09:53 IST

Indian American Ro Khanna might not have got the support of the US President Barack Obama, but he has managed to rope in some of the top superstars of his 2012 presidential elections for the former's Congressional elections next year.

Last week 36-year-old Khanna, who has previously served in the Obama administration as one of his top ranking trade official, had announced his Congressional bid for the 2014 general elections from California against his own partyman and incumbent Mike Honda from California's 17th Congressional district as the new State laws allows two opponents from the same party to run against each other in general elections.

On Tuesday, Khanna announced his executive committee to provide policy and strategic guidance to the campaign by leveraging its deep ties within the Silicon Valley community.

Almost all of them are superstars and fund raisers of the Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.

The executive committee will be co-chaired by the Khanna campaign chair Steve Spinner and general consultant Jeremy Bird, with members David Berger, Kamil Hasan, Amy Rao, Rusty Rueff, Jim Green, Sergio Santos, Eva Roa, Lindsay Lamont, Kavita Tankha and Ann Woo.

Berger, Rusty Rueff and Kamil Hasan were Obama's members for America's National Finance Committee during the 2012 election.

Currently, Kamil is on the Board of the America India Foundation, a Trustee of UC Santa Cruz and Aligarh University Endowment in India. He has also served as the faculty at IIT-Delhi and Stanford University.

While Amy Rao, currently the CEO of Integrated Archive Systems -- a company she founded in 1994, was one of the nation's top fundraisers for the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign.

He has also served as the Coordinating National Co-Chair of Technology for Obama.

Jim Green was the Northern California finance director for Obama's re-election campaign.

In addition to his role as a top fundraiser for Obama, he was the staff director of Technology where he mobilised and leveraged the technology community's support around Obama's re-election campaign.

In this role, he was responsible for increasing participation within the fastest growing sector of the economy -- technology.

Previously, he worked for the Democratic National Committee finance team where he was responsible for major donor fund raising in California.

He also worked as the finance director for Kamala Harris' successful campaign for Attorney General of California.

Kavita Tankha was a member of Obama for America's National Finance Committee and Northern California Finance Committee in the 2012 election.

She was one of four leading Indian American Fundraisers for the President this past election cycle.

As per the latest filing reported with the Federal Election Commission, Khanna has already amassed $1.2 million for his Congressional bid.

"People come here from around the world to put their dreams into action -- that's the promise of America, and it's why my parents came here from Asia," Khanna said announcing his Congressional bid last week.

"But Silicon Valley is succeeding in spite of Washington -- not because of it. I'm going to wage a campaign of ideas on how we can thrive in a world economy where success depends on education," he said.

Khanna said his campaign will employ cutting edge tactics honed during both Obama presidential campaigns and will use people-focused, data-driven strategies and a digitally-savvy approach to connect with voters and build grassroots support.

A longtime Bay Area resident, Khanna returned to Fremont after serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Commerce, where he was responsible for managing 108 offices dedicated to helping companies in the United States improve exports and increase innovation.

During his tenure at Commerce, Khanna also served on the White House Business Council where he demonstrated his unifying approach to problem-solving by bringing labour unions to the table to help develop trade strategies -- an approach that marked a significant departure from previous Commerce Department practice.

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