Biden appoints two Indian-origin experts at top positions at AmeriCorps


The Biden administration has appointed two Indian-origin experts for a public service unit.

Sonali Nijhawan and Sri Preston Kulkarni have been inducted into key positions at AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteering and service.

Nijhawan has been named Director of AmeriCorps State and National, and Kulkarni, as the new Chief of External Affairs.

The key objectives of these two are to fulfill the administration’s plan on focusing on the pressing issues of the current hour which are, recovery from COVID-19, restoring the economy and focusing on racial equity and of course addressing issues regarding climate change.

Previously, Kulkarni had run for Congress in Texas twice yet unsuccessful. However, his contribution and leadership were recognized and well-received in Washington. Kulkarni’s appointment, along with Nijhawan and Dan Kohl, reflects “the Biden administration’s commitment to diverse leadership,” according to the release by AmeriCorps.

Kulkarni brings a variety of experience in service and public affairs to AmeriCorps, including 14 years as a foreign service officer with the State Department where he specialized in public diplomacy and worked in public affairs and international information programs, completing tours in Taiwan, Russia, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica and Washington, the statement said.

Nijhawan has committed her career to develop leaders and growing national service. Most recently, she developed and served as the executive director of Stockton Service Corps, a six-year, USD 12 million initiative to address local needs through AmeriCorps.

Her professional background also includes extensive experience in education, AmeriCorps said in a press release. Inspired by the students, families, and AmeriCorps community she met, she went on to help found City Year Sacramento and launch the organization’s 22nd site with 50 new AmeriCorps members.

Nijhawan also served as the California director of Education Pioneers where she recruited, placed, and supported managers in urban school systems and education nonprofits, empowering people to challenge the status quo of our public education system.

She earned a bachelor’s in education and psychology from Marquette University and a master’s in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.