Biden to name Indian-American Neera Tanden to Cabinet in a historic first for Democrats
Nov 30, 2020 1 min, 47 secs

US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Neera Tanden director of the Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the administration’s budget and federal agencies, making her the first Indian-descent American to be appointed to a cabinet position in a Democratic administration.

Tanden, who currently heads Centre for American Progress, a think tank, is expected to be named by Biden along with former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary and Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University economist, to chair the Council of Economic Advisers, according to The Wall Street Journal

Although Tanden will be the first Indian-American in the cabinet of a Democrat president, if confirmed by the Senate, she will be second overall for the community

She has a great story (single mother, knows what it is to be poor) but went to Harvard and is the most well-versed person in progressive economics I have ever met,” said Shekar Narasimhan, a top fundraiser for Biden, and a close adviser to the campaign and the transition team who has known Tanden for a long time

“On the heels of Kamala Harris set to become the next vice-president, it is great to see another well qualified Indian-American woman be nominated for a Cabinet level position,” said MR Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora, an advocacy group for the community

Biden, who injured an ankle while playing with one of his dogs on Sunday, also announced a path-breaking all-women press team for his White House with Jen Psaki as the most visible face of the team as press secretary

Vivek Murthy, a physician and former surgeon general, is a leading contender for secretary of health and human services, a possibility that has been boosted by his appointment by Biden as co-chair of his advisory board on combating Covid-19, which, the president-elect has said will be his first task after assuming office in January

Majumdar, an alumnus of IIT Bombay, heads Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy and is up against Ernest Moniz, Obama’s energy secretary who had played a key role in shaping the Iran nuclear deal, a signature foreign policy achievement of the Obama-Biden administration


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