Five Indian-Americans, including four women, have been featured in the 2017 Politico 50 list for their note-worthy contributions in the U.S. government, these include: Nikki Haley, Seema Verma Neal Katyal, Aparna Mathur and Neomi Rao.
Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, is ranked at 22 and is known as “Trump’s foreign policy good cop.”
The former South Carolina governor quickly emerged as a security blanket that Republicans and Democrats can cling onto when they try to comprehend where the Trump administration stands on global affairs.
“Haley’s commitment to both her boss in the White House and a traditional foreign policy can sometimes induce cognitive dissonance. She is focused on human rights, sounding off on everything from Venezuela to South Sudan, but dismisses suggestions that Trump, who seems indifferent to the topic, doesn’t care.”
Verma, who heads a top health care position as an Administrator for the center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Trump administration, is ranking at 26.
She has been described as Medicaid rollback engineer and “now leads a 6,500-person federal bureaucracy that oversees not just Obamacare but Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for the poor. She has promised more flexibility for states to experiment with new Medicaid approaches that would let them skirt federal requirements, and signalled a willingness to green-light policy ideas she helped shepherd in Indiana.”
Mathur is an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and is ranked at 32 for making the conservative case for family leave.
Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells is ranked 40 for being President Donald Trump’s travel ban’s legal nemesis.
“Katyal, the 47-year-old Chicago-born son of Indian immigrants, has drawn particular attention for arguing that Trump’s order runs afoul of immigration laws on the books that determine whom the president can exclude from the country and how visas are issued. That approach gives judges a chance to block the ban without wading into the politically explosive question of Trump’s motivation and whether the president aimed to discriminate on the basis of religion.”
Rao is the director of the office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has been described as Washington’s new regulatory czar, she has been ranked at 42.
“As head of OIRA, Rao will scrutinise all significant regulations the Trump administration proposes, ensuring that agencies stick to the White House’s agenda. She is also responsible for implementing Trump’s executive orders directing agencies to repeal two regulations for each significant one they issue, and to draw up plans for regulatory reform.”
Steve Bannon, the former White House Chief Strategist, topped the list and Speaker Paul Ryan was the last to be ranked.