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Gopal Khanna, currently chief financial officer with the Peace Corps, will join the White House next week as the chief financial officer of the executive office of the President.
This is the first high-level appointment of an Indian American in President Bush's second term in office.
Peace Corps director Gaddi H Vasquez said, "During his nearly three years of service, first as the chief information officer, then as CFO of the Peace Corps, Gopal distinguished himself as a visionary leader, with a well-planned strategy to build the global support infrastructure for the Peace Corps of the 21st century."
"We congratulate him on his appointment," Vasquez said.
Khanna said, "I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to serve this great agency and its noble mission of peace and friendship. I shall forever remain appreciative of the Peace Corps staff for their commitment and dedication to support the work of our volunteers."
He said he was "honored to join the White House staff and I am looking forward to serving the President."
Khanna, a staunch Republican Party activist for many years, who had been an elected delegate and alternate delegate on two occasions from Minnesota to the Republican National Conventions, was first appointed by President George W Bush [Images] as the CIO of the Peace Corps in June 2002.
In this position Khanna was responsible for the successful implementation of the standardised computing platform for the agency's 72 posts worldwide.
It was Khanna who designed and implemented the Enterprise Architecture Program, which serves as the framework for the agency's systems modernisation strategy and the transformation of mission critical systems.
As the CFO of the Peace Corps, Khanna led the modernisation and transformation of the agency's accounting and financial management systems, which allowed the Peace Corps to produce auditable financial statements in 2004 -- a first in the agency's 43-year history.
Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Khanna held several senior executive positions in finance, information technology, operations and management consulting, and has a long history of civic and charitable involvement.
He is also an long-time Indian American community activist and was one of the founding members of the Indian American Forum for Political Education, that was founded by Dr Joy Cherian, the first Indian American to hold a sub-cabinet level appointment.
Khanna is a popular speaker on the information technology, global markets and international development circuit, as well as regular Indian American community events.
Khanna has a BA in economics, mathematics and political science from Christ Church College in Kanpur, and an MBA from the University of Maine.
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