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Indra Nooyi attended dinner with Obama

india Updated: Jan 17, 2009 09:44 IST

PepsiCo chief and Indian American, Indra Nooyi, attended dinner for a select group of foreign policy experts hosted by President-elect Barack Obama, media reports has said.

The foreign policy experts, who gathered at Ronald Regan Building here last week, mainly consisted of scholars on the Middle East and South Asia, reported Foreign Policy on its website on Friday.

The dinner meeting which lasted for hours included among others Iran scholar Haleh Esfandiari, Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, who was flown in from Lahore and Samatha Power from Harvard University, who is Obama's friend and his foreign policy advisor. White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, was prominent among those from the Obama Transition team.

The Website said the discussion among nearly ten people mostly centered around the Middle East.

"It is part of the process that I think Obama wants to do to connect" given the demise of his Blackberry. "It was held here (at the Wilson Center), but from now on, I suspect such things will be held at the White House," one of the scholars was quoted as saying.

While the Website did not reveal the name of Indra Nooyi as one of the participants, Politico confirmed on its website yesterday that Indian-born Pepsi CEO was a guest at this small dinner with Obama and a handful of foreign policy experts and top aides.

Notably, an Indian American group last week urged Obama to nominate Nooyi as his Secretary of Commerce, a Cabinet post which is still vacant.