Asthana, Beriwal among several individuals Biden wants on White House infrastructure body


 President Biden announced August 31, 2022, his choice of a 26 “highly qualified” and diverse industry and government leaders as members of the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). In the list are two Indian-Americans, Manu Asthana of Pensylvania and Madhu Beriwal of Florida, as members. Their nominations will have to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

The NIAC advises the White House on how to reduce physical and cyber risks and improve the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors.

Since its establishment in 2001, the NIAC has conducted dozens of studies to address problems such as: improving intelligence information sharing across government and industry; identifying and reducing complex cyber risks; better preparing for and responding to disruptions that can ripple across multiple infrastructure systems; facilitating cooperative decision-making among senior executives and federal leaders during imminent threats and disaster responses; and addressing the skills gaps and loss of institutional knowledge in key national workforces.

“The individuals announced today are leading senior executives with deep experience across a broad range of sectors,” the White House said in the announcement. The sectors include banking and finance, transportation, energy, water, dams, defense, communications, information technology, healthcare services, food and agriculture, government facilities, emergency services, and higher education.

Manu Asthana, President and CEO of PJM. Photo: Linkedin

Manu Asthana currently oversees the largest power grid in North America and one of the largest electricity markets in the world as the CEO and President of PJM. Under his leadership, PJM has established a clear path for defining the grid operator’s role in the transition to a cleaner, more efficient grid while maintaining reliable electric service, the White House said.

Asthana has has extensive leadership experience in the energy industry in the areas of power generation operations, optimization and dispatch, competitive retail electricity, electricity and natural gas trading, and risk management.

He is a member of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and serves on the Board of Trustees of Texas Children’s Hospital. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

Asthana has a Bachelor of Science in economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a Joseph Wharton Scholar.

Madhu Beriwal, founder of Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. Photo: Twitter @MadhuBeriwal

Madhu Beriwal founded Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. (IEM) in 1985 and continues to serve as CEO and President. Innovative Emergency Management is the largest woman-led homeland security and emergency management firm in the United States.

Under Beriwal’s leadership, IEM has led some of the largest mitigation and resilience efforts across the United States, building back stronger following disasters including disaster recovery programs, delivering federal funds to survivors and communities faster than any other program of the same type and magnitude, the White House said.

For more than 37 years, Beriwal has been dedicated to the use of technology to enhance preparedness and response and build resilience in communities and their critical infrastructure.

She was inducted into the International Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame in 2012. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning and a bachelor’s degree in geography and economics.



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