Gautam Raghavan promoted as White House personnel head

Gautam Raghavan, a former Obama White House official and Executive Director of the Indian American Impact Fund, introducing honoree Mahinder Tak (not in picture) at the American Bazaar Women Entrepreneurs and Leaders Gala in Bethesda, MD, on November 16, 2018.
Gautam Raghavan; Photo by Saju Varghese/American Bazaar

India-born openly gay Raghavan served as liaison to LGBTQ and Asian American & Pacific Islander communities under Obama.

President Joe Bioden has promoted India born openly gay Gautam Raghavan as Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel with the appointment of incumbent Cathy Russell as the next Executive Director of UNICEF.

Raghavan, a first-generation immigrant has worked as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel (PPO) since January 20, the day Biden took office.

READ: Gautam Raghavan: A trailblazing Indian American political operative (January 2, 2021)

The White House announced his promotion Friday after the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced he was appointing Russel as UNICEF chief. PPO is in charge of vetting and recruiting political appointees to about 4,000 jobs that are not career civil service positions.

“Raghavan, who has worked in tandem with Cathy from Day One, will become PPO’s new Director — a seamless transition that will enable us to continue building a federal workforce that is efficient, effective, dependable, and diverse,” Biden stated.Previously, he was the first employee hired by the Biden-Harris Transition Team where he served as Deputy Head of Presidential Appointments.

Raghavan served as Chief of Staff to Indian American House member Pramila Jayapal, the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and advised organizations focused on advancing civil rights and social justice, serving as an Advisor to the Biden Foundation and as Vice President of Policy for the Gill Foundation.

‘West Wingers’: perspectives of the Obama White House by 18 insiders (September 29, 2018)

During the Obama-Biden Administration, Raghavan served in the White House Office of Public Engagement as liaison to the the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community as well as the Asian American & Pacific Islander community, as Acting White House Liaison for the US Department of Defense, and as Outreach Lead for the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group.

Raised in Seattle, Raghavan graduated from Stanford University. He is the editor of “West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House.” He lives with his husband and their daughter in Washington, DC.


Indian Americans Vinay Reddy, Gautam Raghavan, get White House posts (December 23, 2020)

Gautam Raghavan named chief of staff to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (December 3, 2018)

New Indian American group Impact to support candidates to ‘run, win and lead’ (January 19, 2018)

Gautam Raghavan resigns, joins Gill Foundation (September 11, 2014)

One Comment

  1. Dolly Pardon

    Omigod!! this dude looks exactly like Brandon’s son, the resemblance is so uncanny! did Hunter really produce a twin?? But why did they give him up?!! gonna be a huge scandal. Lets go Brandon!

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