Rishi Kumar: From immigrant student to Congressional aspirant

Rishi Kumar
Rishi Kumar

By Revathi Siva Kumar


Profession: Engineer Vice-President of firm, Saratoga City Council member
Party affiliation: Democrat
Spouse: Seema Kumar
hildren: Two sons, Rishub and Shivaum
Alma mater: University of Connecticut (MS in Mechanical Engineering)


India-born immigrant engineer Rishi Kumar, challenging fellow Democrat incumbent Anna Eshoo in the US Congressional race from California’s 18th district, looks back at an incredible journey, which flummoxes even him.

As he he wrote emotionally in his Facebook announcement: “Arrived into this country on a F1 student visa for mechanical engineering grad school. Now running for United States Congress. How improbable! … Only because America lets you dream, dream big, and every dream seems so within reach.”

For Kumar, who has served in Saratoga, California, as a city councilman since 2014, service is definitely an empowering role.

“Public service to me has always been about making it better and to just help!” says Kumar eyeing a new innings in Washington if he clears the March 3 primary and wins in November 2020.

Born to Indra Prasad and Shanta Prasad, Rishi is married to Seema Kumar, with two sons, Rishub and Shivaum Kumar. He attributes his success to their role in his life.

As an immigrant the H-1B and H-4 visa programs for high-skilled workers and their spouses and children particularly impact Kumar.

“I believe that immigrants are vital for the continued growth and prosperity of our Silicon Valley community,” he once said.

Rishi Kumar, then, is a strong voice for the Indian American, which is only getting stronger.

With a Masters in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut, Rishi Kumar has been living in Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years.

He is the vice president of software analytics and vertical business at a firm, executive board member and delegate of the California Democratic Party. He is also a member of the California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Panel and of the UC Regents Selection Governor’s Panel.

As a US Congressman, he hopes to have an effect on communities across the US with a system delivering innovation and with energy and drive to enhance processes.

Other issues that interest him include healthcare reform, rising crime, fire safety, traffic congestion, the housing crisis, climate change, promoting job creation and attacking big money influence on politics.

Rishi Kumar is convinced that he can deliver something to Silicon Valley with a “substantive plan, a strong citizen-centric vision, and a strong grasp of our innovation agenda”.

Since he is “not a career politician, but a Silicon Valley tech executive, an engineer by education,” Kumar is sure if elected he can offer a “real-world perspective.”

As an elected leader, he is into pioneering citizen-centric values, focusing upon the interests of residents and communities. During his re-election run for the council, Kumar received the highest number of votes in Saratoga’s election history.

Only now he is aiming for a federal post, convinced that Silicon Valley must “lead the charge” with cutting-edge technology. Kumar is sure there has to be a generational change for the 21st century.

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