Raaheela Ahmed is the first South Asian to make the post.
By The American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has appointed an Indian American woman Raaheela Ahmed as Student Regent to the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents.
Ahmed had narrowly lost a bid for the Prince George’s County Board of Education, District 5 seat against former chairwoman Jeana Jacobs in 2012 by 47 percent to 53 percent votes.
With this appointment, Ahmed breaks ground as the first South Asian, and likely the first home-grown Bowieite to serve in the role of Student Regent. She is one of a handful of women that have been selected for this honor in the history of the system, according to a press release.
The selection process involved several interviews with members from the University of Maryland, College Park, the University System of Maryland Student Council, the Chancellor of the USM, and the Governor’s Appointment Office. All in all, it took 10 months for the selection to be made (November 2013 to August 2014), an unusually long process for this position.
Her appointment was made through an emergency executive order due to a legality which states that the Governor cannot appoint individuals to state positions after the primary election, which was moved up from September to June this year. Hence, her term (which was supposed to begin July 1) will begin as soon as she is sworn-in this month.
Ahmed will represent over 150,000 students in 12 institutions and two regional centers. Her focus for this year will be on college affordability, financial literacy and mental health issues.