Indian American Neera Tanden named White House staff secretary

Neera Tanden delivering opening statement at her Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on February 9, 2021. Image via C-SPAN screen capture.
Neera Tanden delivering opening statement at her Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on February 9, 2021. Image via C-SPAN screen capture.

She becomes the first Indian American and first woman of color to serve in the position.

Indian American Neera Tanden has been named White House staff secretary, multiple news outlets have reported.

According to the Washington Post, the move, announced by White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain in a morning staff call, puts “her in the nerve center of the building charged with overseeing the paper flow for President Biden.”

Tanden becomes the first woman to color and first Indian American to serve in the position.

The 51-year-old former head of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress will replace Jessica Hertz, whose last day on the job is Friday. The Post said Tanden will start her new job on Monday. The office has a staff of eight people.

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

Tanden was initially nominated as the director of the Office of Management and Budget by Biden in November 30. But the White House was forced to withdraw her name in March after a number of senators, including West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, stalled the nomination in the Senate over some of her past tweets.

As the American Bazaar reported earlier, during her two confirmation hearings, Tanden had 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.

Two months later, she was named a senior advisor to the president.

CNN reported that since the withdrawal of her nomination, the former Clinton confidante has worked “on communications efforts surrounding Biden’s economic agenda.”

Per the cable news outlet, “The White House staff secretary is a behind-the-scenes but critical role in the West Wing, responsible for managing paper flow to the President from other areas of the administration and federal government. The person filling the job has been viewed as one of the most powerful in the building.”

Tanden was born in Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1970. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1992, and a law degree from Yale Law School in 1996.

She first worked at the White House as a press aide during President Bill Clinton’s second term.

One Comment

  1. Sandy Marchione

    So what does that mean she will be cleaning toilets and brushing cobwebs? Will she mow the lawns also, its a very big garden they have, she can mow it. Also, she needs to learn how to cook for 100 people at once.

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