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Obama picks PIO for top post ahead of Biden's visit to India

Obama picks PIO for top post ahead of Biden
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First time an Indian American and first person of origin from South Asia Nisha Desai Biswal is set to storm into the all-Amercian and male-dominated...

biswal nishaFirst time an Indian American and first person of origin from South Asia Nisha Desai Biswal is set to storm into the all-Amercian and male-dominated Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the US Department of State.

Once approved by the Senate, Biswal will replace Robert O Blake to oversee the US foreign policy and relations with Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. Biswal is at present an assistant administrator with the USAID. A graduate from the University of Virginia, Biswal began her career with the American Red Cross in the mid-90s before joining the USAID in her first stint. She became an Assistant Administrator for Asia at the USAID on in September 2010.

Earlier, she served as the majority clerk for the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on the Committee on Appropriations in the House of Representatives, which has jurisdiction over the State Department and USAID, as well as other aspects of the international affairs budget, according to the USAID website.

She also served as the Director of Policy and Advocacy at InterAction, the largest alliance of US-based international humanitarian and development NGOs. Her experience as a professional staff of the House of Representatives International Relations Committee, where she was responsible for South and Central Asia policy as well as oversight of the State Department and USAID, came handy for her. "It gives me great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals have agreed to join this Administration to serve the American people. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come," Obama said on July 20, while announcing Biswal's selection.

Although Afghanistan and Pakistan come under the South and Central Asia Bureau of the State Department, they, however, are handled by the Special US Representatives for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the designation currently held by Jim Dobbins.

Nisha is also a member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People's Republic of China since March 2011. "I would like to introduce my husband and soul mate, Subrat, and our two spirited daughters, Safya and Kaya, who inspire and challenge me every day. My parents, Kanu and Lata Desai, my in-laws Nilambar and Anu Biswal and my brother, Pinank Desai and his family are also here," she said. "As first generation immigrants, our parents journeyed far from rural India to pursue the American Dream and a better life for their children. We are grateful for their continued sacrifices on our behalf," she added.

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