Neera Tanden accused of outing sexual harassment victim

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Neera Tanden (Courtesy: Center for American Progress)

NEW YORK – The Indian American president and CEO for the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden released a statement on April 27, regarding allegations against her of naming a victim who claimed that she had been sexually harassed at the liberal think tank in 2016, according to a BuzzFeed News report.

On the organization’s website, Tanden’s statement reads:

“The Center for American Progress, as a progressive organization, should and must hold itself to the highest standard against sexual harassment. It is our obligation to ensure that every one of our employees feels safe, valued, and protected. In recent days, we as an organization, and I as its leader, have fallen short of this obligation. We must—and we will—do better.”

“We have seen that sexual harassment affects nearly every segment of our society. Our staff members have stood at the forefront of fighting this harassment, and they have every right to expect that their leadership lives up to the standards they have helped set. Moving forward, it is my commitment that CAP will do everything in its power to make greater progress toward realizing those ideals—both within our society and within our own walls.”

While staff members at CAP were concerned about Tanden’s leadership amid the allegations, board members have stood by Tanden.

The organization’s founder John Podesta, told Buzzfeed News in an email that “he believes that Tanden and other officials at CAP ‘have recently taken appropriate steps to strengthen the systems at CAP to ensure a safe and inclusive workplace and Tanden has my full confidence and the confidence of the Board.’”

Former Sen. Tom Daschle told BuzzFeed News that Tanden has personally been in touch with him and all board members to discuss the issue as “she has our full confidence. CAP leadership has taken this matter very seriously,” and the organization will hire an outside “evaluator” who will “examine {CAP’s] actions and practices around this incident and its aftermath as well as ensure that its sexual harassment policies and procedures are as strong as they can possibly be.”

In an all-staff meeting, Tanden named the anonymous victim twice and then named the woman involved and apologized thereafter.

The organization has also stated that it has began a staff-wide process to improve CAP’s policies against sexual harassment and discrimination, as well as improve their internal culture through a series of actions it will soon take.