US President Barack Obama, who already has over two dozen Indian Americans serving in top jobs in his administration, has named two more from the community, Deepa Gupta and Nisha Desai Biswal, to key posts. While Gupta has been named as a member of National Council on the Arts, Biswal, currently Assistant Administrator for Asia at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will in addition serve on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. “I am grateful these accomplished men and women have agreed to join this Administration, and I’m confident they will serve ably in these important roles,” Obama said in naming Gupta and Biswal along with seven others. “I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”
Gupta is currently a Programme Officer for Media, Culture and Special Initiatives at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.
In this role, she manages the Foundation’s grant-making in arts and culture in Chicago and the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
She previously served as a senior associate at McKinsey and Company. She is a board member of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and an advisory board member of the Cure JM Foundation. Gupta earned her MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has an AB in Public Policy and Biology from the University of Chicago.
Biswal earlier served as the Majority Clerk for the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on the Committee on Appropriations in the US House of Representatives which has jurisdiction over the State Department, USAID and other aspects of the international affairs budget. Biswal provided staff support to Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey and Subcommittee Chairwoman Nita Lowey in managing the appropriations and oversight of the US international affairs budget. Biswal was the Director of Policy and Advocacy at InterAction, the largest alliance of US based international humanitarian and development non-governmental organizations. She previously served on the professional staff of the House International Relations Committee where she was responsible for South and Central Asia policy as well as oversight of the State Department and USAID. During her four years at USAID, Biswal also worked in the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Office of Transition Initiatives, and served as chief of staff in the Management Bureau. Biswal has also worked with the American Red Cross both in their Washington headquarters and overseas as an international delegate in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Biswal holds a BA from the University of Virginia.