Joe Biden names Indian Americans in key posts at admin

Joe Biden names Indian Americans as speechwriter and Deputy Director of Office of Presidential Personnel

US President-elect Joe Biden. Credit: AFP.

US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday named his long-time associate Indian-American Vinay Reddy as his speechwriter and another community member Gautam Raghavan, who previously served in the White House, as Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel.

The appointment of Reddy and Raghavan comes along with announcement of four other senior White House staff appointments by Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

They are Anne Filipic as Director of Management and Administration, Ryan Montoya as Director of Scheduling and Advance, Bruce Reed, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Elizabeth Wilkins as Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff.

“These experienced individuals are joining my administration to carry out policies that will put our nation on a path to building back better than ever before,” Biden said in a statement.

“They are respected leaders whose values and priorities align with my own and who will dutifully execute their roles to serve the American people. Their dedication to overcoming the challenges facing our country are rooted in their diverse backgrounds and experiences, helping deliver the change America needs in these difficult times,” said the President-elect.

Reddy serves as a speechwriter on the Biden-Harris Transition and was the Senior Advisor and Speechwriter for the Biden-Harris Campaign. He previously served as chief speechwriter to former Vice President Biden in the second term of the Obama-Biden White House, after which, he worked as Vice President of Strategic Communications at the National Basketball Association.

During the Obama-Biden Administration, he also served as senior speechwriter at the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services, deputy speechwriter for the Obama-Biden re-election campaign, and speechwriter for his home state Senator, Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

Reddy grew up in Dayton, Ohio, the second one of the three sons in an immigrant family and is a product of Ohio public schools from kindergarten to Miami University to The Ohio State University College of Law. He currently lives in New York with his wife and their two daughters.

Raghavan serves as Deputy Head of Presidential Appointments on the Biden-Harris Transition. Prior to joining the transition, he served as Chief of Staff to Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Previously, Raghavan served as an Advisor to the Biden Foundation, and as Vice President of Policy for the Gill Foundation, one of the oldest and largest private foundations dedicated to the cause of LGBTQ equality.

During the Obama-Biden Administration, Raghavan served in the White House as the liaison to the LGBTQ community as well as the Asian American & Pacific Islander community, and in the White House Liaison Office for the US Department of Defence and as Outreach Lead for the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group.

A first-generation immigrant, Raghavan was born in India, raised in Seattle, and graduated from Stanford University. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his husband and their daughter.

Anne Filipic recently served as the Chief Programme Officer and the Chief Operating Officer at the Obama Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she led Enroll America, a national healthcare coalition designed to maximise the number of Americans who enrol and retain healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Montoya served as the Director of Scheduling and Advance for Harris on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, Montoya served as the Chief Technology Officer for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. A veteran of both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns, Montoya served as an Advance Associate in the Obama-Biden Administration.

Reed was Vice President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff from 2011 to 2013 and travelled with him for the past year and a half as a Senior Adviser to the Biden for President Campaign. Reed has spent 12 years working on domestic and economic policy in the White House, and served as former President Clinton’s chief domestic policy adviser.

Elizabeth Wilkins serves as the Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff for the Biden-Harris Transition. Prior to joining the transition, Wilkins served in various senior leadership roles at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG), including Senior Counsel for Policy and Chief of Staff. Prior to joining OAG, Elizabeth served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Elena Kagan of the US Supreme Court, and to then-Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

“Our country is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, a long-overdue reckoning on racial injustice, and a climate crisis. To meet these challenges, we need a team that reflects the very best of our nation,” Harris said.

“These public servants have the knowledge and experience to help us deliver on our commitment to build our country back better. And I look forward to working with them to usher in a brighter future for all Americans,” she said.

“We are building a White House staff to reflect the diversity of America in every sense. These individuals have a breadth of experience, and will bring a commitment to serving the American people each and every day. They will advance the bold agenda of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, creating a more just, equitable, and united nation,” said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. PTI LKJ RS RS

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox