Tanden will be the first Asian-American to lead any of the three major White House policy councils in history
President Joe Biden announced on Friday that Indian American policy expert Neera Tanden will serve as his new domestic policy adviser in place of Susan Rice, who plans to leave the administration later this month.
Tanden, 53, has spent the last year-and-a-half as senior adviser and staff secretary in the White House, after her initial nomination to run the Office of Management and Budget faltered in the face of Senate opposition.
Read: Indian American Neera Tanden named White House staff secretary (October 22, 2021)
Daughter of an immigrant single mother “from India who was left to make it on her own in America with two young children after her divorce” from her father, Tanden will be the first Asian-American to lead any of the three major White House policy councils in history.
“While growing up, Neera relied on some of the critical programs that she will oversee as Domestic Policy Advisor,” Biden noted in a statement announcing the move. “I know those insights will serve my Administration and the American people well.”
In addition, the White House announced that Stef Feldman, a longtime Biden aide dating back to the Obama administration, will replace Tanden in the role of staff secretary.
“For over two years, Susan Rice has helped craft and implement my domestic policy agenda and our country owes a debt of gratitude for her history-making public service,” Biden said.
“I am pleased to announce that Neera Tanden will continue to drive the formulation and implementation of my domestic policy, from economic mobility and racial equity to health care, immigration and education.
READ: List of Indian Americans in the Biden administration (January 2, 2021)
“As Senior Advisor and Staff Secretary, Neera oversaw decision-making processes across my domestic, economic and national security teams,” Biden said.
“She has 25 years of experience in public policy, has served three Presidents, and led one of the largest think tanks in the country for nearly a decade,” he noted.
She was a key architect of the Affordable Care Act and helped drive key domestic policies that became part of my agenda, including clean energy subsidies and sensible gun reform.
“While growing up, Neera relied on some of the critical programs that she will oversee as Domestic Policy Advisor, and I know those insights will serve my Administration and the American people well. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Neera in her new role,” Biden said.
Tanden served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, as well as presidential campaigns and think tanks. Most recently, Tanden was the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Tanden previously served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, working on President Obama’s health reform team in the White House.
Prior to that, she was the director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign, and served as policy director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
Read: Biden names Neera Tanden as his domestic policy adviser (May 5, 2023)
Tanden served as senior advisor to the Chancellor of the New York City Schools and also served as Associate Director for Domestic Policy in the Clinton White House and Senior Policy Advisor to the First Lady.
Tanden received her Bachelor of Science from UCLA and her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School.