Indian-American Neera Tanden was raised by a single mother. She is now part of US President-elect Joe Biden‘s economic team. Longtime Democratic policy staffer, Tanden has been appointed as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). She will be managing the Biden administration’s budget.
Thank you for this opportunity, Mr. President-elect! pic.twitter.com/PBNSDQUVAk
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 2, 2020
Speaking during the introduction of members of Biden’s newly-formed economic team, 50-year-old Tanden said, “Like the Vice President-elect’s (Kamala Harris) mother, Shyamala, my mother, Maya, was born in India. Like so many millions, across every generation, she came to America to pursue a better life. I was raised in a suburb of Boston – a middle-class kid,” ANI quoted. She shared the story of how her India-born mother immigrated to the US from India.
“Now, it’s my honor to help shape those budgets and programs to keep lifting Americans up, to pull families back from the brink. To give everybody the fair chance my mother got, and that everyone deserves,” said Tanden. She will be the first woman of colour and the first South Asian American to head the influential Office of Management and Budget at the White House.
On her Twitter profile, Tanden describes herself as, “Director of OMB Nominee, liberal, Indian American, feminist, mom, wife. Not in that order. Views expressed are most definitely my own.”
Tanden recently took to Twitter and explained how her mother “relied on public food and housing programs to get by” after her divorce. “Now, I’m being nominated to help ensure those programs are secure, and ensure families like mine can live with dignity. I am beyond honored,” she hailed.
After my parents were divorced when I was young, my mother relied on public food and housing programs to get by. Now, I’m being nominated to help ensure those programs are secure, and ensure families like mine can live with dignity. I am beyond honored.
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) November 30, 2020
Born in Massachusetts in 1970 to parents from India, Tanden is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and Yale Law School. Tanden and her brother grew up with their mother, who was on welfare for nearly two years before taking a job as a travel agent. Talking about her journey in the US and her Indian origin, Tanden said, “I’m here today thanks to my mother’s grit, but also thanks to a country that had faith in us, that invested in her humanity, and in our dreams. I’m here today because of social programs. Because of budgetary choices.”
Before taking the top post at the White House, Tanden was tasked as chief executive of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in the country.
The other key inclusions in Biden‘s economic team are Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Cecilia Rouse, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey, members of the Council of Economic Advisers.
Feature Image Credit: AP News