3 Indian Americans sworn in by Biden to Advisory Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders

Lt. Col Ravi Chaudhary, Shekar Narasimhan and Maulik Pancholy.

WASHINGTON, DC: Three Indian-Americans were among the group of individuals sworn into their new positions on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) on May 6.

Lt. Col Ravi Chaudhary, an officer in the US Air Force; community leader Shekar Narasimhan and actor Maulik Pancholy are among the group of 14 AAPI community leaders, business scions, and entertainment figures inducted into the new Advisory Commission. Their nominations were announced last month, and they were confirmed this week.

Vice-President Joe Biden presided over the induction ceremony at the White House, lauding the accomplishments of the AAPI community throughout the US. Sri Srinivasan – the desi US Circuit Judge in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, who could become the first Indian American Supreme Court justice down the line – ceremonially swore in 14 new and two returning Commissioners.

“We are honored to have Vice President Biden speak to the AAPI community at this historic moment in time,” said AAPI Initiative’s Executive Director Kiran Ahuja, in a press release. “AAPIs are fast on the rise, and it’s important to both recognize the community’s great diversity and the importance of government and community working together to address the unique challenges we face.”

Chaudhary is the Executive Officer to the Commander of the Air Force District of Washington, at Joint Base Andrews in southern Maryland. He has logged over 3,000 flight hours as a pilot and flight-test engineer, and has over 700 hours of combat registered to his name. He is routinely feted by the White House, and was even present during Michelle Obama’s Diwali celebration last fall.

Narasimhan has been the managing partner at Beekman Advisors since 2003, and has also been chairman of Papillon Capital since 2012. Prior to this, he was the managing director at Prudential Mortgage Capital from 2000 to 2003, and was also the chairman and CEO of the WMF Group Ltd., from 1988 to 2000. He holds a B.S. from IIT Delhi, and an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.

Finally, Pancholy is most well-known for his role as Alec Baldwin’s assistant Jonathan on NBC’s “30 Rock,” which was one of the network’s most successful comedies of the past decade, Pancholy has also had recurring roles on the Showtime series “Weeds” and the Cartoon Network hit “Phineas and Ferb.”

Earlier this year, Pancholy got engaged to his partner, Ryan Corvaia, at the Taj Mahal, while touring India to protest the anti-gay legislation upheld by the country’s Supreme Court.

“I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have agreed to join this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years,” Obama said in a statement last month, when the nominations were announced.

The other new AAPI Commissioners who were sworn in on Monday are:

  • ·      Dr. Tung Nguyen (incoming Chair)
  • ·      Dr. Mark Ann Young Okada (incoming Vice Chair)
  • ·      Dr. N. Nina Ahmad
  • ·      Michael Byun
  • ·      Lian Cheun
  • ·      Billy Dec
  • ·      Bill Imada
  • ·      Kathy Ko Chin
  • ·      Daphne Kwok
  • ·      Dee Jay Mailer
  • ·      Diane Narasaki
  • ·      Linda X. Phan
  • ·      Lorna May Ho Randlett

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