Preeta Bansal, who served at the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration, and was previously the Solicitor General of New York state, has been selected for the Stewardship Award by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies. Bansal will be recognized at the APAICS’ 24th Annual Awards Gala Dinner May 15, in Washington, D.C.
Bansal’s distinguished career has been at the intersection of senior government, law, public policy, academia, and global business, notes the April 25 press release from APAICS. She currently is CEO of Social Emergence Corporation, a social-benefit, not-for-profit corporation incubated out of the MIT Media Lab, where she has been a lecturer, senior advisor and research associate for the past 3 years. Her present work relates to empowering communities through direct citizen-to-citizen engagement.
Bansal served as general counsel and senior policy advisor in the Obama White House (Office of Management and Budget), and led the legal personnel team for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition in 2008, which, according to APAICS, “led to historic appointments of AAPIs in the Executive Branch.”
Earlier, in 1999-2002, she served as Solicitor General of the State of New York, where she helped lead 600 attorneys in the New York Attorney General’s Office.
While a partner at Skadden Arps, a leading international law firm, she served as chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a federal government human rights commission focused on religious freedom and interfaith cooperation. She was the first member of the Commission from an Eastern dharmic tradition, and the only such chair, “and she helped ensure that the Commission’s advocacy of religious freedom encompassed the rights of all groups – including those of non-Abrahamic faiths such as Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, members of other minority groups, as well as nonbelievers,” APAICS said. She also presided over the Commission’s report to Congress about ensuring safe and effective immigration procedures for asylum seekers.
She served by appointment of President Obama as the vice chair and a council member of the revived Administrative Conference of the U.S. from 2010-2013. From 2015-2016, President Obama appointed her as a member and committee chair of the President’s Advisory Committee on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, focusing on poverty and inequality in America, for which she authored and led the report on transforming government.
Bansal is a top graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard-Radcliffe College and a former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (1990-1991). She received the National Organization of Women’s “Woman of Power and Influence Award” in 2006 and was named one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal in 2008. She received the “Pioneer Award” from the National South Asian Bar Association, and the “Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism” from the Hindu American Foundation. She is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Chatham House. She has served on numerous non-profit boards.