Indian-American Neera Tanden is now in the race to be elected as the head of US President Joe Biden‘s budget department.
“There’s one candidate to lead the budget department, and her name is Neera Tanden,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters backing her nomination on Tuesday. If confirmed by the Senate, she will take up the position of the Director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and be managing the Biden administration’s budget.
Fifty-year-old Tanden could soon become the first person of colour to head the federal agency that prepares the annual budget of the US government.
The accomplished policy expert, Tanden would be the first “Asian American woman to lead OMB, has lived experience having benefitted from a number of federal programs as a kid, looking ahead to the committee votes this week and continuing to work toward her confirmation,” White House‘s Psaki tweeted as saying earlier this week.
Neera Tanden=accomplished policy expert, would be 1st Asian American woman to lead OMB, has lived experience having benefitted from a number of federal programs as a kid, looking ahead to the committee votes this week and continuing to work toward her confirmation
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 22, 2021
Longtime Democratic policy staffer, Tanden, who has been nominated by US President Joe Biden as his budget chief, is facing a tough confirmation process as several senators are opposing her nomination, citing her past social media behaviour. She has reportedly deleted more than a thousand tweets after Biden won the US election last year. “We’re going to push. We still think there’s a shot, a good shot,” Biden told reporters at the White House, continuing to support her nomination. Read 10 things to know about Neera Tanden here
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.”
Indian-American Tanden was raised by a single mother. She had earlier explained on Twitter 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 had 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 Indian parents, 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.
Tanden previously was tasked as chief executive of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in the country.
Feature Image Credit: AP News