Indian-American Neera Tanden appointed as Biden's domestic policy advisor

Tanden, a Democrat, currently serves as senior advisor to President Biden and staff secretary

Neera Tanden (Photo Courtesy: Reuters)
Neera Tanden (Photo Courtesy: Reuters)


Public policy expert Neera Tanden has been named by US President Joe Biden as his domestic policy advisor. The Indian-origin American will help him craft and implement his domestic policy agenda, making her the first Asian American to lead any of the three major White House policy councils in history.

Tanden, 52, replaces Susan Rice as Biden's domestic policy advisor.

"I am pleased to announce that Neera Tanden will continue to drive the formulation and implementation of my domestic policy, from economic mobility and racial equity to health care, immigration and education," Biden said. His domestic agenda currently faces obstacles in a divided Congress ahead of the elections in 2024.

"As senior advisor and staff secretary, Neera oversaw decision-making processes across my domestic, economic and national security teams. She has 25 years of experience in public policy, has served three presidents, and led one of the largest think tanks in the country for nearly a decade," Biden said.

"She was a key architect of the Affordable Care Act and helped drive key domestic policies that became part of my agenda, including clean energy subsidies and sensible gun reform. While growing up, Neera relied on some of the critical programs that she will oversee as Domestic Policy Advisor, and I know those insights will serve my administration and the American people well. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Neera in her new role," he said.

Tanden, a Democrat, had served in both the Obama and the Clinton administrations, as well as in presidential campaigns and think tanks. Most recently, she was the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Tanden also previously served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, working on President Obama's health reform team in the White House.

Tanden joined the administration in 2021 as a senior adviser after withdrawing her Cabinet nomination to run the Office of Management and Budget, which failed to garner sufficient support in the Senate. She faced strong opposition from key Republican and Democrat senators over the tone and language she used in some of her tweets.

Prior to that, Tanden was the director of domestic policy for the Obama–Biden presidential campaign and served as policy director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Tanden served as senior advisor to the chancellor of the New York City Schools as well as associate director for domestic policy in the Clinton White House and senior policy advisor to the First Lady.

She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School.

The president also announced that Stefanie Feldman will serve as the new assistant to the President and the staff secretary. Additionally, Zayn Siddique will be promoted to principal deputy of the Domestic Policy Council. 

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