Biden-Harris team inducts four more Indian Americans

White House
Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian/White House

New NSC members to help Biden, Harris ‘keep our nation safe and secure.’

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have named three more Indian Americans as members of the White House National Security Council (NSC) and another on Harris’ press team.

Tarun Chhabra would serve as Senior Director for Technology and National Security, Sumona Guha as Senior Director for South Asia, and Shanthi Kalathil as Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights on the NSC team.

Sabrina Singh, who was Press Secretary to Harris on the Biden-Harris campaign, was named Deputy Press Secretary.

The new NSC members will, under the direction of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, help Biden and Harris “keep our nation safe and secure,” the transition team announced Friday

“These crisis-tested, deeply experienced public servants will work tirelessly to protect the American people and restore America’s leadership in the world,” said Biden.

“They will ensure that the needs of working Americans are front and center in our national security policymaking, and our country will be better for it,” he added.

Read the transcripts of remarks by Biden and Gupta (January 7, 2021)

“This outstanding team of dedicated public servants will be ready to hit the ground running on day one to address the transnational challenges facing the American people — from climate to cyber,” said Harris.

“They reflect the very best of our nation and they have the knowledge and experience to help build our nation back better for all Americans.

Chhabra is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University.

He was previously a Fellow with the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House.

During the Obama-Biden Administration, Chhabra served on the National Security Council staff as Director for Strategic Planning and Director for Human Rights and National Security Issues, and at the Pentagon as a speechwriter to the Secretary of Defense.

Born in Tennessee and raised in Louisiana, Chhabra is a first-generation American and a graduate of Stanford University, Oxford University, and Harvard Law School.

Guha was co-chair of the South Asia foreign policy working group on the Biden-Harris campaign, and serves on the transition’s State Department Agency Review Team.

Guha is Senior Vice President at Albright Stonebridge Group. Previously, she served in the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer and later, on the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff where she focused on South Asia.

During the Obama-Biden Administration, she was Special Advisor for national security affairs to Vice President Biden. Guha is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and three children.

Kalathil is currently senior director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy, where her work focuses on emerging challenges to democracy.

Previously in her career, she served as a senior democracy fellow at the US Agency for International Development, an associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Hong Kong-based reporter for the Asian Wall Street Journal, and an advisor to international affairs organizations.

Kalathil is the co-author of Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003).

Originally from California, Kalathil is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Prior to her role on the Biden-Harris campaign, Sabrina Singh served as Senior Spokesperson for Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign and National Press Secretary for Cory Booker’s presidential campaign.

She previously served as Deputy Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee, Spokesperson for American Bridge’s Trump War Room and Regional Communications Director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

She has also worked at SKDKnickerbocker, served as Communications Director for Rep. Jan Schakowsky and worked at various Democratic committees. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and two dogs.

“These deeply experienced public servants reflect the very best of our nation, and they will be ready to get to work building a country that lifts up all Americans,” said Harris about new members of her office.

Previous Indian American nominees include Neera Tanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget, Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General, Vinay Reddy as director of speechwriting, Vanita Gupta  as Associate Attorney General, Gautam Raghavan as deputy director of the Office of Presidential Personnel, and Vedant Patel as assistant press secretary.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.