Several Indian-Americans in Biden-Harris Transition Team

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President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris celebrate at the Chase Center on Saturday night in Wilmington, Del. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Toni L. Sandys

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris released an extensive list of members of their Agency Review Teams (ARTs) Nov. 10, 2020, despite President Donald Trump not conceding defeat in the November elections.

Several Indian-Americans and South Asians are on these teams, apart from two Indian-Americans in the Covid-19 Task Force announced earlier – former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy as co-chair and Dr. Atul Gawande as a member.

The new lists contain some former Obama Administration officials like Aneesh Chopra who was the Chief Technology Officer, who is now on the U.S. Postal Service ART.

According to the press release from the Biden-Harris team, “The ARTs are composed of highly experienced and talented professionals with deep backgrounds in key policy areas across the federal government.”

All the positions are filled by volunteers. Agency Review eams are responsible for understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smooth transfer of power, and preparing for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and their cabinet to hit the ground running on Day One.

However, when these ARTs are going to start functioning and meeting current agency heads, is not known, as the General Services Administrator is supposed to ascertain the results of the election and that has not happened and may not happen for some time as the Trump team engages in lawsuits on several fronts in relation to the voting in various states.

Following are the members from the community selected for some of the ARTs. At least two Indian-Americans are Team Leads, Arun Majumdar of Stanford University for the Department of Energy ART, and Office of National Drug Control Policy Team Lead Rahul Gupta of the March of Dimes. Some ARTs have more than one Indian-American as member, and a few members are on more than one team. :

  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Ashwin Vasan of Sophant Consulting
  2. Department of Commerce – 1. Pravina Raghavan of Empire State Development; 2. Atman Trivedi from Hills & Company; and 3. Arun Venkataraman of Visa, Inc.
  3. Department of Defense – Farooq Mitha of Imbue Group, Inc.
  4. Department of Education – 1. Shital Shah of the American Federation of Teachers; 2. Emma Vadehra of The Century Foundation
  5. Department of Energy – 1. Team Lead Arun Majumdar of Stanford University; 2. R. Ramesh of University of California, Berkeley; and 3. Rama Zakaria of the Environmental Defense Fund
  6. Department of Health and Human Services – 1. Mina Seshamani of MedStar Health; and 2. Cyrus Shahpar of Resolve To Save Lives
  7. Department of Homeland Security – 1.Asha M. George of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense; and 2. Subhasri Ramanathan of Deloitte & Touche
  1. Department of Justice – Raj De of Mayer Brown, LLP
  1. Department of Labor – 1. Seema Nanda, self-employed; 2. Raj Nayak, self-employed
  2. Department of State – 1. Sumona Guha, Albright Stonebridge Group; 2. Puneet Talwar, self employed
  3. Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Regulators – Reena Aggarwal, Georgetown University; 2. Satyam Khanna of New York University, School of Law, Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance
  4. International Development – Bama Athreya
  5. National Aeronautics and Space Administration – Bhavya Lal, IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute
  6. National Security Council – 1. Dilpreet Sidhu, City of Los Angeles; 2. Pav Singh, self-employed
  7. Office of Management and Budget – Divya Kumaraiah, Airbnb, Inc
  8. Office of National Drug Control Policy – Team Lead Rahul Gupta of March of Dimes
  9. Office of Personnel Management – Team Lead Kiran Ahuja, Philanthropy Northwest
  10. Office of Science and Technology Policy – Pav Singh, self-employed
  11. Office of the United States Trade Representative – Arun Venkataraman of Visa, Inc.
  12. United States Agency for Global Media—Rumana Ahmed of the National Democratic Institute
  1. United States Department of Agriculture – Kumar Chandran of FoodCorps
  2. United States Mission to the United Nations – Mounir Ibrahim, Truepic, Inc.
  1. United States Postal Service—Aneesh Chopra, CareJourney
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