Indian-American named in Hillary Clinton's transition team

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2016 01:17 IST
Tanden was named a co-chair, with former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, former governor Jennifer Granholm and Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager Maggie Williams. (Picture courtesy:

Indian American Neera Tanden was among senior members of a transition team named by the Clinton campaign on Tuesday to lay the groundwork for the nominee’s presidency, should she win.

Tanden was named a co-chair, with former national security adviser Tom Donilon, former governor Jennifer Granholm and Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager Maggie Williams.

Ken Salazar, a former interior secretary, was named the chairman. The team will report to Clinton Campaign chairman John Podesta, who is a former chief of staff of Bill Clinton.

The transition team prepares the newly elected president to have his or her administration in place the day he or she is sworn in, and not waste weeks and days putting it together.

The team, which will be physically based in Washington DC, typically has to fill around 4,000 positions in different departments of the federal government.

Under a 2010 law, the transition teams of the two major candidates are provided federal office space in DC and receive briefings from the incumbent administration.

Republican nominee Donald Trump named his transition chair — New Jersey governor Chris Christie — many weeks ago but has not announced other members of the team yet.

Tanden, who was among the only two Indian Americans to speak at Clinton’s presidential convention in Philadelphia — the other was Ami Bera — is a long-time associate of the Clinton's.

She started working with Clinton during her 2000 campaign for the senate as deputy campaign manager, and joined her on election as the senator’s legislative director.

When Clinton ran for president in 2008, Tanden was her campaign’s policy director. She joined the Obama team after Clinton dropped out as domestic policy director.

Tanden joined the Obama administration as a senior adviser and played a key role in formulating the president’s landmark health care reform law, a significant legacy project.

She left the administration and joined the Center for American Progress, a DC think-tank founded by Podesta, who now heads the Clinton campaign. She heads it now, as president.

Asked recently about Indian Americans who could be named to senior positions in a Clinton administration, Podesta said he could think of one for sure, and that was Tanden.

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