US President nominates Kashmir origin woman as envoy to Netherlands


US President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate Indian-origin political activist Shefali Razdan Duggal as his envoy to the Netherlands, according to White House.

Shefali, a Kashmiri Pandit, moved with her family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at age two. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which supervises the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for a term that expired in January 2018

She then moved to Cincinnati, Ohio at age five, where she grew up and graduated from Sycamore High School.

Shefali recently served on the National Finance Committee of Joe Biden for President 2020 and also was a National Co-Chair of Women for Biden.

The White House made the announcement on Friday along with several other key administrative and diplomatic positions, PTI reported.

Shefali, a mother of two, is an experienced political activist, women’s rights advocate, and human rights campaigner, the White House said.

She is a San Francisco Committee member of Human Rights Watch, a member of the Wake Forest University Leadership and Character Council, and served on the National Board of Directors for Emily’s List.

Shefali had been active in Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign and had also been associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign where she was a member of her campaign’s Northern California Steering Committee and the Women for Hillary Committee.

Last year in January, two Kashmir women were appointed at senior positions in the White House Office, in National Economic Council and Digital Strategy.

According to the announcement by the Biden team, Kashmiri woman Aisha Shah has been named as Partnerships Manager at the White House Office of Digital Strategy, which would be headed by Rob Flaherty, Director of Digital Strategy, while Sameera Fazili had been inducted into the US president Joe Biden administration as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council.

Sameera Fazili’s parents wanted her to become a physician, but she pursued her interest in economics. In Atlanta, Fazili served as the Director of Engagement for Community and Economic Development.

On Jan 15, 2021, the Biden-Harris Transition named her new role. Sameera was named by Biden Harris Transition as the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council at the White House.

The council is an important body since it regulated the economic policy-making process.

Her appointment had also started celebrations in her extended family in Srinagar. She is fond of skiing, swimming, tennis, and travelling. She loves Kashmiri Cuisine.

Even though her parents left the valley in 1970-71, but Sameera harbors a strong affinity with Kashmir, and last visited the place in 2007.

Her family testifies that Sameera, daughter of a surgeon and pathologist, was always a bright child. Prior to the role at Biden Government, she was a clinical lecturer of Law at Yale Laws School, and is a graduate of the same. Originally from Buffalo in New York, she currently lives in Georgia with her husband and three children. She is also an alumnus of Harvard College.

Born in Kashmir, Aisha went to Davidson College in North Carolina for graduation. She was named as Partnership Manager at the White House Office of Digital Strategy, the team headed by Rob Flaherty.

Raised in Louisiana, Aisha has previously served as Digital Partnerships manager in the Biden-Harris Campaign and currently serves as an Advancement Specialist for the Smithsonian Institute.

Before this, Aisha worked as an assistant manager on the corporate fund of the John Kennedy Centre for the Performing arts where she was supporting the first-ever expansion of a Presidential Memorial.

She has also been the Strategic Communications Specialist at Buoy, an integral marketing firm specializing in spitfire strategies, social impact communications. At Buoy, Aisha enabled nonprofits to use pop culture as a tool for social change.


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