WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate Indian-origin civil rights attorney Kalpana Kotagal and certified public accountant Vinay Singh to key administration positions.
Kotagal is the nominee for Commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission while Singh has been nominated as Chief Financial Officer, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the White House said on Friday.
Kotagal, who is the daughter of immigrants from India, is a partner at Cohen Milstein, a member of the firm’s Civil Rights and Employment practice group, and co-chair of the firm’s Hiring and Diversity Committee.
She is the co-author of the seminal legal template ‘Inclusion Rider’.
Kotagal is also a diversity, equity and inclusion expert, and represents disenfranchised people in employment and civil rights litigation involving issues related to Title VII, Equal Pay Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, the White House said.
Indian-American Impact, nation’s leading civic Indian American and South Asian organisation, welcomed the nomination of Kotagal to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“Kotagal is an exceptionally talented litigator who has been a fierce advocate for employment equity and civil rights,” said Neil Makhija, executive director of Indian American Impact.
“She has broken barriers as one of the first South Asian women to become a law partner in the plaintiffs’ bar and has been a leading voice in the national conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We are proud to give our emphatic support to her nomination and look forward to celebrating her confirmation,” Makhija said.
Singh, a Certified Public Accountant, is currently senior advisor to the Administrator at the US Small Business Administration (SBA), assisting agency teams to deliver organisational efficiencies to better serve our communities’ small businesses.
He has 25 years of private sector leadership experience with a deep understanding of finance, analytics and strategy.
Singh had also served in the Obama-Biden administration as a Deputy Assistant Secretary (US Field). He played a key role in leading trade and investment policy and promotion efforts to better market conditions for US companies.
Prior to his role at the SBA, Singh was a Partner and Chief Operating Officer for Infrastructure Practice at KPMG in India. As a senior member of the executive team, he led several organisational transformation projects, leveraging technology to improve profitability and decision-making, the White House said.
As lead partner for the World Bank Group account, he supported global sustainability projects focused on solving urban and rural challenges in housing, water, energy, and economic development, it added.
Last month, President Biden nominated two Indian-Americans as US envoys. He nominated diplomat Puneet Talwar as the country’s ambassador to Morocco and political activist Shefali Razdan Duggal as his envoy to the Netherlands.
In March, Biden also announced that Indian-American public health expert Dr Ashish Jha will take over as his COVID-19 Response Coordinator.