Biden Names two Indian Americans to US team at UN

Photo credit: US mission to the United Nations

Sohini Chatterjee and Aditi Gorur have extensive experience in UN affairs.

Reflecting its faith in their capabilities, the Biden-Harris administration has included two more Indian Americans with extensive experience in UN affairs in the leadership team of the US mission to the UN.

Sohini Chatterjee, an expert on global development, conflict, and mass atrocities who previously worked in the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Obama adminstration, will serve as a senior policy advisor.

Aditi Gorur, an expert on UN peacekeeping who was until recently a senior fellow and director of the Protecting Civilians in Conflict Program at the Stimson Center, will serve as policy advisor.

The appointments “reflect President (Joe) Biden and Vice President (Kamala) Harris’s commitment to building a talented, experienced, and diverse administration that looks like America”, the mission stated Tuesday.

Chatterjee most recently served on the faculty at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, as a Legal Advisor for Independent International Legal Advocates and a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

She has also been a lawyer with the international group at the legal firm Steptoe & Johnson.

READ: List of Indian Americans in the Biden administration (January 2, 2021)

Gorur’s work at Stimson Center focused on UN peacekeeping, conflict prevention, and the protection of civilians in armed conflict. She also conducted field research in conflict areas like the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and South Sudan.

Gorur was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and lived in India, Oman and Australia, according to the US mission.

Niki Haley, who was the first Indian American to get a cabinet position in the US, was appointed by then President Donald Trump as UN Permanent Representative in Jan. 2017 and served in that position until Dec 2018.

Biden, who has announced a return to greater involvement with international organizations, appointed career diplomat, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, as the Permanent Representative to the UN. She is awaiting confirmation by the Senate in that role.

She will succeed Kelly Craft, a political appointee of Trump, who scaled back international engagement.

Biden has named at least two dozen Indian Americans to senior positions in his administration. They include Neera Tanden, to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget with cabinet rank; Vivek Murthy to be Surgeon General, and Vanita Gupta, as Associate Attorney General.


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