Four more Indian Americans to join Biden-Harris admin



The Biden-Harris administration has created the most diverse team in the White House in the history of the US.

This admin has pooled in talents from across different ethnicity that truly makes the Unites States that it is today.

(Top L to R)Geeta Rao Gupta, Jainey Kumar Bavishi (Bottom L to R) Arun Venkataraman and Viquar Ahmad.

On Tuesday, January 4, President Biden announced his intent to nominate more Indian Americans to key posts of his admin, pushing the number of Indian-descent close to a record 50.

The four nominees are Geeta Rao Gupta, Jainey Kumar Bavishi, Arun Venkataraman, and Viquar Ahmad.

Geeta Rao Gupta has been named Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues.

Jainey Kumar Bavishi would be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

Arun Venkataraman has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service.

Viquar Ahmad would serve as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and as Chief Financial Officer at Commerce Department.

The White House sent their nominations for confirmation to the Senate Tuesday.

Gupta, a nominee for Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department, is currently a Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and Senior Advisor to Co-impact, global collaborative philanthropy for systems change.

While at the UN Foundation, Dr. Gupta founded and served as Executive Director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women, according to her official bio.

She currently serves as co-chair of the WHO Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for health emergencies, chairs the Global Advisory Board of WomenLift Health, a new initiative to promote women’s leadership in global health, and serves as a member of the Board of UBS Optimus Foundation and of the Advisory Board of Merck for Mothers.

She also serves as a Commissioner for the Lancet-SIGHT Commission on Health, Gender Equality and Peace. Previously, Dr. Gupta was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and also served as co-Chair of the Gender-Based Violence Task Force of the World Bank.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including InterAction’s Julia Taft Award for Outstanding Leadership, Harvard University’s Anne Roe Award and Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” Award.

Dr. Gupta was awarded a Ph.D. in Psychology from Bangalore University and a Master of Philosophy and Master of Arts from the University of Delhi in India.

Jainey Bavishi, nominee for Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere at Commerce Department currently serves as the Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency.

In this role, she leads a cross-disciplinary team that prepares the city for the impacts of climate change through science-based analysis, policy, program, and project development, and capacity building.

Bavishi served as the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Director of External Affairs and Senior Policy Advisor at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) during the Obama administration.

Previously, she was the Founding Director of the Equity and Inclusion Campaign, a coalition of community-based leaders in the Gulf Coast region that focused on recovery from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, at the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation.

Arun Venkataraman, the nominee for Assistant Secretary of Commerce, has over 20 years of experience advising companies, international organizations and the US government on international trade issues.

He is currently a Counselor to the Secretary of Commerce, advising the Department on trade and other international economic matters. Prior to this, Venkataraman was a Senior Director at Visa, leading global government engagement strategy on a range of international policy issues including digital economy, trade, tax and sanctions.

While at the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), he led the development and implementation of US-India trade policy as the Director for India, for which he received the agency’s Kelly Award for outstanding performance and extraordinary leadership.

Viquar Ahmad, the nominee for Assistant Secretary of Commerce, has held multiple leadership roles in the US government over the past two decades.

He served as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer of the US House of Representatives over the past four years; his responsibilities included management of Congress’ operating budget. Before returning to the House, Ahmad provided counsel to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) senior leadership on the budget decision-making, and oversight on a nearly $70 billion budget of its component agencies.

Ahmad has been recognized with excellence awards, including the US Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Medal.

He earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Public Administration from George Washington University.