Biden Recruits Indian American to White House senior staff position

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Mala Adiga was appointed as Policy Director to incoming First Lady Jill Biden, an announcement from the Biden-Harris Transition Team said Nov. 20, 2020. Photo: State Department

President-elect Joe Biden announced some new members of his White House senior staff, including an Indian American.

Mala Adiga, advisor for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign will be joining the White House senior staff as policy director to First Lady to be Jill Biden. Adiga, who served as a senior advisor to Dr. Jill Biden in the past, was one of two senior White House appointments announced Nov. 20, 2020. The other was Carlos Elizondo as White House social secretary.

“These diverse, experienced, and talented individuals demonstrate President-elect Biden’s continued commitment to building an administration that not only looks like America, but is also ready to deliver results for working families on day one,” a press release from the Biden-Harris transition team said.

“I’m proud to name additional members of our team who will help deliver the change America needs in these difficult times. Their dedication to overcoming the challenges facing our country today are rooted in their diverse backgrounds and experiences. They will serve the American people and help build back better, creating a more just, equitable, and united nation,” Biden said in a statement.

“Today’s appointees are respected leaders who will bring a commitment to serving the American people each and every day. They will support our work to build an administration and White House that represents America and delivers results,” said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

Prior to serving as the senior policy advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign, Adiga was Director for Higher Education and Military Families at the Biden Foundation.

During the Obama-Biden administration, Adiga served in several senior positions — as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Ambassador-at-Large; and as Director for Human Rights on the National Security Staff.

Prior to that, she was Counsel to the Associate Attorney General in the Department of Justice.

Her relationship to the Bidens goes back to the Obama-Biden 2008 presidential campaign in which she also served.

Before that campaign, she was a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago and clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon in the Northern District of Indiana.

A native of Illinois, Adiga is a graduate of Grinnell College, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and the University of Chicago Law School.

 

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