Biden Names Indian American Gautam Raghavan as New Chief of White House Personnel
Gautam Raghavan. (photo via IANS/White House)
By ARUL LOUIS
NEW YORK (IANS) – Gautam Raghavan has been named to replace Catherine Russel as head of the White House personnel office. Russel has been appointed executive director of UNICEF.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced on Dec. 9 that he was appointing Russel to head the UN arm devoted to the welfare of children; almost simultaneously President Joe Biden appointed Raghavan to succeed her at the White House.
Raghavan was Russel’s deputy at the White House Office of Presidential Personnel which is in charge of vetting and recruiting political appointees to about 4,000 jobs that are not career civil service positions.
Biden said that the Indian American official’s appointment will ensure a “seamless transition that will enable us to continue building a federal workforce that is efficient, effective, dependable, and diverse.”
Raghavan was the first employee hired by Biden’s Transition Team and served as the deputy head of presidential appointments, according to the White House.
From there he went on to become deputy director of the personnel office with the title of deputy assistant to the president.
The Stanford University graduate was born in India and grew up in Seattle, Washington.
He is openly gay, and according to the White House “he lives with his husband and their daughter in Washington.”
Raghavan worked in the White House Office of Public Engagement as liaison to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community as well as the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in the administration of former President Barack Obama.
He has been an adviser to the Biden Foundation.
His resume includes a stint as the chief of staff for Pramila Jayapal, the Indian American Democratic member of the House of Representatives who is the chair of the leftist group of lawmakers known as the Congressional Progressive Caucus.