Biden-Harris name Indian American Maju Varghese as executive director for presidential inauguration

US president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris, who will lead the nation next month, have appointed an Indian American, Maju Varghese, to be the executive director of their inauguration – the oath-taking ceremony at the Capitol on January 20 and the festivities around it

Arul Louis Dec 01, 2020
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US president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris, who will lead the nation next month, have appointed an Indian American, Maju Varghese, to be the executive director of their inauguration – the oath-taking ceremony at the Capitol on January 20 and the festivities around it. The announcement on Monday makes Varghese the fifth Indian American appointed to an important position by them.

Earlier on Monday, he had formally announced the appointment of Neera Tanden as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Varghese played an important part in the successful Biden-Harris campaign as its chief operating officer and as a senior adviser to Biden. He ran the logistics for the nation-wide, multi-million-dollar effort to elect Biden, mobilising tens of thousands of staff and volunteers.

He had worked for former President Barack Obama as his special assistant and deputy director of advance, a position in which he worked on organising his travel in the US and abroad. One of those assignments was organising Obama's 2015 historic trip to India for the Republic Day celebrations.

He later became assistant to the president for administration and management and oversaw the White House complex.

Varghese's parents immigrated from Thiruvalla in Kerala to the US, where he was born, and is a lawyer by training.
The other Indian Americans named to important positions by Biden include former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who was appointed co-chair of his COVID-19 task force last month in one of his first acts after the media proclaimed him the winner of the presidential election.

Two Indian Americans were named to head the committees in charge of transition to the new administration – Arun Majumdar for the Department of Energy and Kiran Ahuja for the Office of Personnel Management.

In addition, 19 Indian Americans were appointed to the various transition teams and two others, Atul Gawande and Celine Gounder, to the COVID-19 task force.

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