Indian American named to key White House position

February 8th, 2009 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Feb 7 (IANS) President Barack Obama has named Indian American lawyer Nicholas Rathod as one of three Deputy Associate Directors of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, a key staff position.

“I am confident that Jodi, Michael and Nick will be valuable members of our team,” Obama said making the announcement Friday naming Rathod, Jodi Archambault Gillette and Michael Blake.

“These individuals bring diverse experiences and a deep passion for public service to my administration. As we work to serve the American people and make this White House as open and transparent as possible, it’s essential that we hear from citizens in all our communities,” he said.

Rathod served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Obama-Biden Transition Project. He has also worked as the Deputy Director of the Federal Affairs Office for New York Governor David Paterson and Senior Manager of State and Regional Affairs for the Centre for American Progress.

As a community organiser, Rathod organised Washington DC’s immigrant communities around language access issues and a civil rights attorney, representing minority communities who were discriminated against in lending, including a one billion dollar settlement on behalf of African American farmers.

Rathod is also active in the South Asian community, co-founding the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) as well as South Asians for Obama (SAFO).

He is the recipient of the Frederick B. Abramson award recognising Washington DC’s top public interest attorneys and is the 2005 National South Asian Bar Association’s national public interest attorney of the year.

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