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Indian Americans galore in Obama-Biden team

November 25, 2008 13:52 IST

Several Indian Americans have been appointed to the Obama-Biden transition team.

Arti Rai, a professor of patent law at Duke University, and a classmate of Obama at Harvard Law School has been appointed as a member of the agency review team on science, technology, space, arts and humanities.

The agency review teams for the Obama-Biden transition are charged with completing a thorough review of various departments, agencies and commissions in the US government to craft policy, budgetary and personnel decisions prior to the January 20, 2009 inauguration date.

Anjan Mukherjee, a managing director at the private equity firm Blackstone, has been named one of several leads on the economics and international trade agency review team.

The Harvard Business School MBA is also a director of Steifel Laboratories, one of his firm's investment. Mukherjee also campaigned with Asian Americans for Obama.

Rachana Bhowmik, Subhasri Ramanathan, Natasha Bilimoria and Puneet Talwar will all serve as members of the state, national security, defence, intelligence and arms control agency review team.

Bhowmik was part of Senator Obama's legislative counsel, handling civil rights, civil liberties, and national security issues such as intelligence, homeland security, and veterans issues for the senator, who was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Ramanathan is a senior analyst with the Government Accountability Office's Homeland Security and Justice team. Prior to joining the GAO, she was Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director to the Democratic Staff of the House Committee on Homeland Security, specializing in border security, visa and immigration policy issues.

Bilimoria is the executive director of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, a non-profit organization aiming to engage Americans in the prevention of these diseases in the developing world.

Bilimoria previously served as senior public policy officer at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and spent four years with the Clinton Administration, including the U S Department of Treasury.

Puneet is a senior staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and previously served on the State Department's policy planning staff.

Parag Mehta, from Texas has been named the deputy director of inter-governmental affairs and public liaison for several minority groups, including Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders.

Indian American Nick Rathod has been appointed director to the Office of Inter-governmental Affairs. Rathod is the national outreach director of South Asians for Obama and one of its founding members.

Seema Hakhu Kachru in Houston
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