White House nominates three Indian-Americans to key positions

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. PHOTO: @Surgeon_General

The White House has sent names of three Indian-Americans to the US Senate for confirmation.

A press release by the White House on January 8, 2024, said Vivek Hallegere Murthy, of Florida, has been nominated to be the United States Representative on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization.

Dr. Murthy currently serves as the 21st US Surgeon General. The US Department of Health and Human Services website noted that Dr. Murthy is “focused on drawing attention to and working across government to address a number of critical public health issues, including the growing proliferation of health misinformation, the ongoing youth mental health crisis, well-being and burnout in the health worker community, and social isolation and loneliness.” Dr. Murthy is also an advisor to President Biden’s COVID-19 pandemic response operation.

It further added, “Raised in Miami, Dr. Murthy received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard, his MD from the Yale School of Medicine, and his Masters in Business Administration from the Yale School of Management.”

Judge Mustafa Kasubhai. PHOTO: Linkedin @mustafa-kasubhai

The White House also nominated, Mustafa Taher Kasubhai, of Oregon, to be United States District Judge for the District of Oregon.

“Judge Kasubhai currently serves as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Oregon and has extensive experience representing plaintiffs in labor law litigation,” said the Alliance for Justice website. “If confirmed, Judge Kasubhai would make history as the first Muslim to serve on Oregon’s federal district court and the third Muslim to serve as a federal district court judge in the United States.”

According to the Justice website, Judge Mustafa Kasubhai’s who was born in Reseda, California, in 1970, completed his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992, and later obtained his J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1996. His parents are immigrants from Mumbai, India.

On January 10, President Biden sent the 44th list of judicial nominations to the Senate, among them, Judge Sunil R. Harjani, candidate for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Judge Sunil Harjani. PHOTO: @fedbarchicago.org

Judge Harjani has been a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since 2019. He previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois from 2008 to 2019, the White House announcement said. He also practiced federal civil litigation as a senior counsel at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission from 2004 to 2008. Prior to that, he was in private practice as an associate at Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago from 2000 to 2001 and 2002 to 2004.

Judge Harjani, received his J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in 2000 and his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1997. He served as a law clerk for Judge Suzanne B. Conlon on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 2001 to 2002.

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released a statement saying they were pleased with the nomination of Judge Sunil Harjani, noting, “Judge Harjani was highly regarded by our screening committee and brings strong qualifications and a wealth of courtroom experience…,” they said adding, “We look forward to supporting his nomination in the Senate.”

In his Jan. 8 announcement, President Biden also nominated Adeel Abdullah Mangi of New Jersey, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, vice Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., retired. Mangi is of Pakistani heritage.

A resident of Jersey City, Mangi was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and received his B.A./Law degree, First Class, from the University of Oxford in 1998, according to a statement of support from Senator Cory Booker, D-Illinois, issued in November 15, 2023. He attended Lincoln’s Inn and the Inns of Court School of Law in London and qualified as a British Barrister at Law in 1999. He received his LL.M from Harvard Law School in 2000 and has since worked also at the private law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in New York, as a civil litigator representing an array of clients in complex high-stakes cases, Booker noted. “He has devoted thousands of hours to pro bono service, filed numerous amicus briefs in the federal appellate courts and before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of cross-faith religious coalitions, and, among his many other legal accomplishments, successfully fought on behalf of Muslim communities seeking to build and open mosques in Bernards Township and Bayonne,” Booker added.



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