Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 23 January 2022 3.19 PM IST

Indian-American policy advisor Gautam Raghavan elevated as head of White House Office of Presidential Personnel


WASHINTON: US President Joe Biden has elevated Indian-American political advisor Gautam Raghavan as the head of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

White House Presidential Personnel Office (PPO), also written as Office of Presidential Personnel, is the White House office tasked with vetting new appointees. The PPO is one of the offices most responsible for assessing candidates to work at or for the White House.

President Biden on Friday elevated Raghavan, who was currently posted as the PPO Deputy Director, to the key White House post after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced his intent to appoint Cathy Russell as the next executive director of UNICEF. Russell is currently the head of WH PPO.

Under Cathy's leadership, the PPO has broken records in both speed and diversity of hiring, working relentlessly to ensure that our federal government reflects America and delivers for the American people, Biden said.

“I am also pleased that Gautam Raghavan, who has worked in tandem with Cathy from Day One, will become PPO’s new director -- a seamless transition that will enable us to continue building a federal workforce that is efficient, effective, dependable and diverse,” he said in a statement.

A first-generation immigrant, Raghavan was born in India, raised in Seattle and graduated from Stanford University. He is the editor of the book 'West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House'.

Raghavan, in his 40's, is openly gay. He lives with his husband and their daughter in Washington, D.C.

Raghavan has served as deputy assistant to the President and deputy director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel since January 20, 2020. Previously, he was the first employee hired by the Biden-Harris transition team where he served as deputy head of Presidential Appointments.

“Raghavan served as chief of staff to US Representative Pramila Jayapal, the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and advised organisations focused on advancing civil rights and social justice, serving as an advisor to the Biden Foundation and as vice president of Policy for the Gill Foundation,” the White House said.

“During the Obama-Biden Administration, Raghavan served in the White House Office of Public Engagement as liaison to the LGBTQ community as well as the Asian American & Pacific Islander community, as acting White House liaison for the US Department of Defence, and as Outreach Lead for the Pentagon’s 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' Working Group,” it said.

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