Biden announced two Indian-American choices for high office

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Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally. Photo: ustda.gov
Ravi Chaudhary, PHD. Photo: Twitter @ravichaud

President Joe Biden, has over the last 30 days, announced his choice of two ndian-Americans to hold high office in his administration. They include Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; and Ravi Chaudhary as Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Air Force.

While Thummalapally does not need confirmation, the nomination of Chaudhary will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Thummalapally, the first Indian-American to be appointed as Ambassador in the history of this country, will now serve as the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the White House announced Oct. 18, 2021.

In this capacity, Thummalapally also assumes the role of USTDA’s Acting Director until a Director is confirmed by the Senate.

Thummalapally served as the Executive Director of SelectUSA, a U.S. Department of Commerce initiative that facilitates job-creating business investment into the United States, from 2013 to 2017, his profile on USTDA says. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Belize from 2009 to 2013.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the private sector, including most recently as the Executive Chairman of Red Fort Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs and government relations firm, and as the President of MAM-A Inc., a U.S. manufacturer and distributor of archival recordable optical discs.

His civic leadership experience includes service as a board member of the Indian American Impact Project, a non-profit promoting Indian Americans to run for public office, and as an   advisor to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Victory Fund. He has also served as a board member for Cyient, a global digital engineering and technology company.

Thummalapally earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Northridge, CA.

On Oct. 14, 2021, President Biden announced his choice   Chaudhary, as a nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installation, Energy, and the Environment.

Chaudhary previously served as a Senior Executive at the U.S. Department of Transportation where he was Director of Advanced Programs and Innovation, Office of Commercial Space, at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In this role, he was responsible for the execution of advanced development and research programs in support of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation mission. While at DOT, he also served as the Executive Director, Regions and Center Operations, where he was responsible for integration and support of aviation operations in nine regions located nationwide.

 

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