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Moving On Up in the Federal Administration

Compiled/Written by Swati Bajpai
September 2009
Moving On Up in the Federal Administration

Long after being portrayed as the model minority by the media and government, Indians are finally making their presence felt at the political arena too. Soon after the appointment of Punjab-born Preet Bharara as the attorney of Manhattan came the announcement that President Obama has appointed Indian-American attorney Ro Khanna to a key post in the U.S. Commerce Department. Khanna, who will work to open foreign markets to American technology, specialized in intellectual property law at O’Melveny & Myers’s San Francisco office, and was sworn in earlier this week as Deputy Assistant Secretary for domestic operations of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, International Trade Administration. Among his duties will be to lead trade missions to countries like India and China, lucrative markets for the United States.

Observers are seeing his appointment by Obama as a reflection of the Indian-American community’s growing political clout. Khanna, who was born in Philadelphia and earned his law degree at Yale University, has political roots reaching back to India.

The other high-profile appointment of Preet Bharara to the most prestigious federal prosecutor’s post outside Washington too has been welcomed by the Indian diaspora. In his new post, Bharara will oversee more than 200 lawyers who handle some of the country’s most prominent cases, like the prosecution of scam czar Bernard L Madoff for his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, The New York Times reported.

Bharara, a graduate of Harvard and Columbia Law School, is a naturalized citizen. He was born in Ferozpur, India, from where his parents migrated to the United States.

[In the absence of Murali Kamma, this month’s Desi World was compiled by Swati Bajpai. Kamma will resume Desi World next month.]

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