Tarak Shah becomes first Indian American, and first openly LGBTQ Chief of Staff at DOE.
The Biden-Harris administration has appointed four Indian Americans to senior leadership positions at the US Department of Energy (DOE) including energy policy expert Tarak Shah as Chief of Staff.
Shah, who has spent the last decade working on combating climate change, becomes the first person of color, first Indian American, and first openly LGBTQ person to serve in that position at the department.
The other three Indian American appointees are Tanya Das as Chief of Staff, Office of Science, Narayan Subramanian as Legal Advisor, Office of General Counsel and Shuchi Talati as Chief of Staff, Office of Fossil Energy.
“These new leaders will direct policy at DOE, coordinate across the Administration, and enact President Joe Biden’s vision for bold action on the climate crisis and on safeguarding the Americans most affected by it,” said a DOE release.
“These experienced professionals reflect President Biden’s pledge to equip his Administration with a team that represents America’s diversity.”
At the Biden-Harris Transition, Shah was the Personnel lead for the Climate and Science team. From 2014-2017, he served as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for Science and Energy at DOE.
RELATED: List of Indian Americans in the incoming Biden administration (January 2, 2021)
Shah has also worked on political campaigns, including former President Barack Obama’s Senate and presidential campaigns. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his MBA from Cornell University.
“These talented and diverse public servants will deliver on President Biden’s goal to tackle the climate crisis and build an equitable clean energy future,” said Shah, the newly appointed Chief of Staff.
“Guided by their expertise, breadth of experience, and following the science, these Department of Energy appointees will contribute to creating a clean energy economy that produces millions of good-paying American jobs and safeguards the planet for future generations.”
Tanya Das was most recently a Professional Staff Member on the US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where she worked on legislation on a range of issues in clean energy and manufacturing policy.
She earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Narayan Subramanian was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment at Berkeley Law leading a project tracking regulatory rollbacks, and served as a Fellow at the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Data for Progress.
Subramanian holds a JD from Columbia Law School, an MPA from the School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University, and a BS in Earth & Environmental Engineering from Columbia University.
Shuchi Talati was most recently a Senior Policy Advisor at Carbon180 where she focused on policies to build sustainable and equitable technological carbon removal at scale.
She also served as a policy volunteer on the Biden-Harris campaign. Dr. Talati earned a BS from Northwestern University, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University.
In addition to the Biden-Harris appointees, David G Huizenga will serve as the Acting Secretary of Energy, DOE announced.
He was most recently Associate Principal Deputy Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration and has been a career employee at the department since 1987.