Daughter of Indian immigrants, set to start Monday as senior adviser focusing on Obamacare, digital service.
Two months after her controversial tweets cost her a place in President Joe Biden’s cabinet as his budget chief, Indian American Neera Tanden has got a promised job in the White House.
Tanden, who would have been the second Indian American in a US presidential cabinet after Republican Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to UN, is set to start on Monday as a senior adviser to Biden, Politico reported citing the White House.
Biden had promised Tanden his controversial pick for budget director, another job after he was forced to pull her nomination March in the face of bipartisan opposition over her offensive tweets targeting members of Congress of both parties.
“I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work,” Biden then said of his first, and, to this point, only failed nominee and one of his few political setbacks thus far.
Tanden’s appointment as senior adviser reflects a White House that is adamant about her being a vital player to their operations, the Politico said noting Chief of staff Ron Klainhad lobbied heavily to move her nomination across the goal line.
READ: Indian Americans disappointed at Neera Tanden’s withdrawal (March 4, 2021)
Tanden, 50, will hold various duties in the White House but her focus will be handling any potential fallout from Republican lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court, it said.
Tanden will also be tasked with reviewing the United States Digital Service, a program that aims to make government accessible online, Politico said.
“Tanden is Indian American, and her appointment to such a senior position is also a nod to the Asian American community, which grew frustrated after Tanden’s withdrawal and what they complained was a lack of adequate representation in Biden’s Cabinet,” the news website said.
“Neera’s intellect, tenacity, and political savvy will be an asset to the Biden administration as she assumes a new role as Senior Advisor to the President,” CAP founder John Podesta stated Friday. “I am exceptionally thrilled to see her step into a new position serving this White House and the American people.”
In her controversial tweets, many of which were deleted in recent months, Tanden called Sen. Mitch McConnell “Moscow Mitch,” comparing him to Voldemort and Sen. Ted Cruz to a vampire and insinuated that Sen. Bernie Sanders benefited from Russian hacking in the 2016 election.
READ: List of Indian Americans in the Biden administration (January 2, 2021)
In two confirmation hearings, she repeatedly apologized for the tweets and promised to strike a more collegial tone as a member of the administration, but failed to win support in the evenly divided Senate.
Born in 1970 in Bedford, Massachusetts, Tanden obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1992, and a law degree from Yale Law School in 1996.
She worked for the campaign of President Bill Clinton, who was seeking reelection that year. The following year, she landed a job at the White House press office. Later, Tanden joined the White House domestic policy office as an associate director.
In 2000, she served as a policy director and deputy campaign manager for former First Lady Hillary Clinton’s victorious senatorial bid from New York. She went on to work for the newly elected senator as a legislative director from 2003 to 2005.
During Clinton’s first presidential run in 2008, Tanden served as a policy director, and in the general election campaign, she worked for Barack Obama as domestic policy director.
In the first Obama administration, Tanden was one of the point persons on the Affordable Care Act, as a senior advisor to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
In 2010, she joined the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, as the chief operating officer. In November 2011, she succeeded John Podesta as the organization’s President and CEO.
White House vows to keep fighting for Neera Tanden (February 26, 2021)
Key Senate committees postpone votes on Neera Tanden for Biden budget director (February 24, 2021)
Indicating trouble, Neera Tanden’s Senate committee votes postponed (February 24, 2021)
Neera Tanden highlights her India born mother’s struggle in America (February 9, 2021)
Neera Tanden, who lives and breathes politics and policy (December 26, 2020)
List of Indian Americans in the Biden administration (January 2, 2021)
Biden defends ‘smart as hell’ Neera Tanden (December 3, 2020)
Like Kamala, Neera stands on the shoulders of her Indian mother (December 2, 2020)
Indian American Neera Tanden tipped to head Biden’s budget office (November 30, 2020)