The Mangaluru connection of Team Obama

The Mangaluru connection of Team Obama

A senior official with origins in the State’s coastal region had found a pride of place in the entourage of US President Barack Obama, much to the joy of people in the region. Shilpa Hegde, 26, works as an assistant staff secretary at the White House.

Though Shilpa was born and brought up in the US, she visits her native Perdoor in Udupi, and Mangaluru every year with her parents. The last time she visited Mangaluru was in January last year for her cousin’s wedding.

Shilpa hails from a family of doctors. She is the daughter of Dr Sadananda Hegde and Vidya Hegde, who are settled in the US.

Six of the eight siblings of her father are doctors, while one is an engineer. Dr Vasanthi S Shetty, Shilpa’s aunt, and her husband Dr K Subhash Chandra Shetty told Deccan Herald that Shilpa joined the Democratic Party while pursuing law, after her studies in political science from the University of North Carolina. Vasanthi is the former HoD of the OBG department at KS Hegde Hospital in Deralakatte. She is the elder sister of Sadananda Hegde.

“She was part of Obama’s first election campaign and he picked her after looking at her active campaigning and enthusiasm in politics,” Vasanthi said. She soon became the assistant director in the White House and served in this position till August 2011.

Thereafter, she served as the assistant staff secretary in the White House for two years, after which she was promoted as senior assistant staff secretary in July 2014.

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