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Obama inducts record number Indian-Americans into his admin

Washington, Nov 19, 2012 (PTI) 16:31 IST
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his speech at Yangon University’s Convocation Hall in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. In a historic trip to a long shunned land, Obama on Monday showered praise and promises of more U.S. help to Myanmar if the Asian nation keeps building its new democracy. 'Our goal is to sustain the momentum,' he declared with pride as the first U.S. president to visit here. AP
The small Indian-American community -- constituting just about one per cent of the US population – never had it so good as under the Obama Administration, with a record number of community members being roped in to head top administrative positions.

President Barack Obama recognising the immense talent and potential of this community numbering about 3.1 million, not only appointed a record number of Indian-Americans to his administration, but also there is hardly any major wing of the US government ranging from his own White House to departments of State, Treasury, Defence and Commerce that some of the key positions are not being held by an Indian-American.

While there is no official or unofficial figure of the number of Indian-Americans appointed by Obama in his administration in the first four years of his Administration, it is estimated that the list could easily be at least a few dozens or even touch the half a century mark.

This is a far cry from the Regan Administration when the first Indian Americans was appointed to a senior administration post to his administrations. In 1987, Regan appointed Joy Cherian to Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. He later on went on to become its Commissioner from 1990 to 1994.

And in 1990, Sambhu Banik, a Bethesda psychologist, was appointed as executive director of the President's Committee on Mental Retardation.

Indian Americans have come a long way since them and have travelled quite a distance under the Obama Administration.

Obama, who in four years ago became the first African American to have been elected as US President, appointed Raj Shah, as administrator of USAID – the highest ranking Indian American in any administration.

Vinai Thummalapally, the US Ambassador to Belize, became the first Indian-American Ambassador in the US history.

Highly talented, Vikram Singh in his capacity as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia (SSEA) is the highest ranking Indian American official in the Pentagon.

The anti-terrorism and anti-Wall Street crusade of Preet Bharara, the US Attorney, who is another Obama appointee, is well known.

Subra Suresh in his capacity as Director of the National Science Foundation, the agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through research programs and education projects, overseas billions of dollars in scientific research.

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