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Biden names two Indian-Americans in National Security Council of WH

US President-elect Joe Biden on Friday named Indian-American Sumona Guha as senior director for South Asia and Tarun Chhabra as senior director for Technology and National Security, as he announced several key appointments to the National Security Council of the White House.

Biden names two Indian-Americans in National Security Council of WH
Joe Biden (File Photo)


Guha was co-chair of the South Asia foreign policy working group on the Biden-Harris campaign, and serves on the transition’s State Department Agency Review Team. 

Currently senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group, she previously served in the State Department as a foreign service officer and later, on the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff where she focused on South Asia. 

During the Obama-Biden administration, she was special advisor for national security affairs to then Vice President Biden. 

Guha is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University. 

Named as senior director for Technology and National Security, Chhabra is a senior fellow at the Centre for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University. 

He was previously a fellow with the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Perry World House. 

During the Obama-Biden Administration, Chhabra served on the National Security Council staff as director for Strategic Planning and director for Human Rights and National Security Issues, and at the Pentagon as a speechwriter to the Secretary of Defence. 

Born in Tennessee and raised in Louisiana, Chhabra is a first-generation American and a graduate of Stanford University, Oxford University, and Harvard Law School. 

Biden also named Shanthi Kalathil, as Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights in his National Security Council. She is currently senior director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy, where her work focuses on emerging challenges to democracy. 

Previously in her career, she served as a senior democracy fellow at the US Agency for International Development, an associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Hong Kong-based reporter for the Asian Wall Street Journal, and an advisor to international affairs organizations. 

Kalathil is the co-author of Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule. 

Among other National Security Council appointments announced by Biden are Yohannes Abraham, Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary; Sasha Baker, Senior Director for Strategic Planning; Ariana Berengaut, Senior Advisor to the National Security Advisor; and Tanya Bradsher, Senior Director for Partnerships and Global Engagement. 

The President-elect has appointed Rebecca Brocato, as Senior Director for Legislative Affairs in his National Security Council; Elizabeth Cameron as Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense; Caitlin Durkovich as Senior Director for Resilience and Response; Jon Finer as Principal Deputy National Security Advisor; Juan Gonzalez, Senior Director for Western Hemisphere; Ryan Harper as Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Secretary and Peter Harrell, Senior Director for International Economics and Competitiveness. 

Biden has named Emily Horne as Senior Director for Press and NSC Spokesperson; Andrea Kendall-Taylor, as Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia; Ella Lipin as Senior Advisor to the Principal Deputy National Security Advisor; Brett H. McGurk, Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa; Melanie Nakagawa, Senior Director for Climate and Energy; Carlyn Reichel as Senior Director for Speechwriting and Strategic Initiatives and Dr Amanda Sloat as Senior Director for Europe. 

“The National Security Council plays a critical role in keeping our nation safe and secure. These crisis-tested, deeply experienced public servants will work tirelessly to protect the American people and restore America’s leadership in the world. They will ensure that the needs of working Americans are front and center in our national security policymaking, and our country will be better for it,” said Biden. 

“This outstanding team of dedicated public servants will be ready to hit the ground running on day one to address the transnational challenges facing the American people -- from climate to cyber. They reflect the very best of our nation and they have the knowledge and experience to help build our nation back better for all Americans,” said Vice President-elect Harris. 

They will bring a wide range of perspectives to tackling the defining challenges of our time, said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

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