Shefali Razdan Duggal appointed US ambassador to the Netherlands



Indian American Shefali Razdan Duggal has been appointed as the new US ambassador to the Netherlands. The US Senate confirmed Razdan Duggal, a political activist, and women’s rights advocate, for the post.

She takes over from her predecessor Pete Hoekstra who left office early in 2021. Hoekstra had been nominated in 2017 by former US President Donald Trump.

The US Senate members, after considering her nomination that was submitted by President Joe Biden six months back, gave their approval for Razdan Duggal’s nomination through a voice vote on September 14.

Embassy of the United States of America, The Hague, the Netherlands tweeted: “We are delighted that @POTUS has announced the nomination of Shefali Razdan Duggal to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.”

Razdan Duggal, an immigrant to the United States from Kashmir, India, is an experienced political activist, women’s rights advocate, and human rights campaigner. Razdan Duggal is a former presidential appointee to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council, and she continues to serve as a Western Regional Advisor.

She is a San Francisco Committee member of Human Rights Watch, a member of the Wake Forest University Leadership and Character Council, and served on the National Board of Directors for Emily’s List.

Razdan Duggal is the recipient of numerous civic awards, including being recognized with the Western Regional Leadership Award by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, as a Community Hero by the California State Assembly, and as one of the Most Powerful Women in California by the National Diversity Council. She served as the National Co-Chair of Women for Biden, and as a Deputy National Finance Chair at the Democratic National Committee.

A Kashmiri born in Haridwar U.P. India, Razdan Duggal moved to the United States at a very young age and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, having received a B.S. in Mass Communication, with a minor in Political Science. Razdan Duggal received her M.A. in Media Ecology from New York University.

During her confirmation hearing in July, Razdan Duggal told the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “I am a grateful and loyal American who loves this country deeply. I was born in India, but I was made in the United States.”

“As an immigrant, I represent the diverse face of the United States and the generations of people throughout our history who found opportunity in our great country. I was raised by a single mom in Cincinnati, who worked two minimum wage jobs to support us. My father left us when I was very young, and this profoundly and permanently affected the direction of my life,” she told the committee.

“Rather than dwell upon what I did not have, I embraced the boundless opportunities that we are given here in the United States. I attended college and graduate school with the help of loans, grants, and scholarships. As I faced some of my own challenges of being a minority woman with limited resources, I became attuned to the values of diversity and inclusion that continue to inspire me today. I also focused on the rights of minorities and the critical importance of being a voice of the oppressed. This motivated me to pursue my years of work with Human Rights Watch and to serve as a Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council,” she added.

Razdan Duggal said: “While my life was often not easy, I was always saved by the Grace of God and the promise of the United States. I have full confidence that kindness, empathy, honesty, and sweat equity mean something in our country. It is the reason why people from all over the world see us as a beacon of hope and freedom. While my story is not unique, it is one that represents the infinite possibilities of the American spirit and the American dream.”