President Biden names Indian American, Bangladeshi American to key White house posts

Neera Tanden. PHOTO Twitter @neeratanden

President Joe Biden announced May 5, 2023, that Neera Tanden will serve as Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor. Tanden will be the first Asian-American to lead any of the three major White House policy councils in history. Tanden replaces Susan Rice, who held the position to date.

The President also announced that Zayn Siddique, of Bangladeshi ancestry, will be promoted to Principal Deputy of the Domestic Policy Council.

“For over two years, Susan Rice has helped craft and implement my domestic policy agenda and our country owes a debt of gratitude for her history-making public service. I am pleased to announce that Neera Tanden will continue to drive the formulation and implementation of my domestic policy, from economic mobility and racial equity to health care, immigration and education,” Biden said in a statement.

As Senior Advisor and Staff Secretary, Tanden oversaw decision-making processes across the President’s domestic, economic and national security teams, Biden noted.

She has 25 years of experience in public policy, has served three Presidents, and led one of the largest think tanks, Center for American Progress, in the country for nearly a decade, the President said.

“She was a key architect of the Affordable Care Act and helped drive key domestic policies that became part of my agenda, including clean energy subsidies and sensible gun reform,” Biden added.

“While growing up, Neera relied on some of the critical programs that she will oversee as Domestic Policy Advisor, and I know those insights will serve my Administration and the American people well. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Neera in her new role,” the President said.

Tanden currently serves as Senior Advisor to President Biden and Staff Secretary. She served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, as well as presidential campaigns and think tanks. Most recently, Neera was the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Tanden previously served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, working on President Obama’s health reform team in the White House. Prior to that, she was the director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign, and served as policy director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

In the past, Tanden served as senior advisor to the Chancellor of the New York City Schools and also served as Associate Director for Domestic Policy in the Clinton White House and Senior Policy Advisor to the First Lady.

She received her Bachelor of Science from UCLA and her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School.

Zayne Siddique. PHOTO: Twitter @Zsiddique

Siddique currently serves as Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Mobility and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council. In this role, he leads White House policy development on issues including housing, child care, education, workforce, and agriculture, the White House said in its press release.

Previously, Siddique served as Senior Advisor to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Bruce Reed. He also served as Chief of Staff for the Domestic and Economic Team for the Biden-Harris Transition and as a member of Vice President Harris’s prep team for the 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate. Prior to the Administration, Siddique practiced constitutional and appellate law at a firm in New York City. He also served as a law clerk at all three levels of the federal court system, including to Justice Elena Kagan of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Raised in New York, Siddique is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School.

According to the website, Siddique’s parents are both doctors from a village in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. They immigrated to the US with Siddique’s grandmother.



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