Vice President-elect Kamala Harris recruits senior campaign advisor to White House position

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Rohini Kosoglu. Photo: iop.harvard.edu

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced new members of her White House senior staff Dec. 3, 2020, among them, Sri Lankan-American Rohini Kosoglu, who has been with Harris since 2017, first in her U.S. Senate office and later in her presidential campaign as a senior advisor.

Harris announced Kosoglu as her Domestic Policy Advisor, Tina Flournoy as her Chief of Staff, and Ambassador Nancy McEldowney as her National Security Advisor.

Harris described Kosoglu, as an individual “who is not only an expert on some of the most important issues facing the American people, but also one of my closest and most trusted aides from the Senate and presidential campaign.”

She continued, “Together with the rest of my team, today’s appointees will work to get this virus under control, open our economy responsibly and make sure it lifts up all Americans, and restore and advance our country’s leadership around the world.”

Kosoglu currently serves as Senior Advisor to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the Biden-Harris Transition Team and previously served as Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris Campaign.

Before that, she was a Spring 2020 resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Kosoglu was the first woman of Sri Lankan origin, and first South Asian American woman to serve as Chief of Staff in the United States Senate. She served as Vice-President Elect Harris’ Chief of Staff for her Senate office and later for her presidential campaign.

Before that, she was Policy Director for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, where she oversaw economic, health care and budget issues.

She has negotiated several bipartisan bills into law and served as a senior health care advisor during the drafting and passage of the Affordable Care Act. She also previously served as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

Originally from New Jersey, Kosoglu is a graduate of the University of Michigan and George Washington University and is a mother to three young children.

According to her profile on the Harvard website, Kosoglu has received numerous awards for her legislative accomplishments, including the Rising Star Award from the Women’s Campaign Forum and organizations such as Pew Charitable Trust, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the National Rural Health Association. She has also been a featured speaker for the Democratic National Committee, the National Education Association, and Kauffman Center for Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship. In 2020, Kosoglu served as a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School leading a weekly discussion on navigating careers in political campaigns and Capitol Hill.

Kosoglu’s parents are of Tamil origin from the Jaffna region in Sri Lanka, Dr. Wijeyadevendram Ravindran and Shobhana Ravindran, who live in New Jersey, according to NewsIn.Asia article on the LankaWeb.com website Nov. 9, 2020.

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