By Lalit K Jha
Washington, Nov 30 (PTI) Indian-American Neera Tanden is an “excellent choice” to lead the Office of Management and Budget, the largest office within the White House complex whose most prominent function is to produce the President’s annual Budget, experts said on Tuesday.
If confirmed by the US Senate, 50-year-old Tanden would be the first woman of colour and the first Indian-American to head the influential office at the White House. Tanden is currently the chief executive of the Centre for American Progress, a public policy research and advocacy organisation.
Tanden “grew up on welfare and lived in public housing. She experienced firsthand the importance of our social programs,” said Valarie Jarrett, who served as the senior advisor to former president Barack Obama and assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs from 2009 to 2017.
“Her extraordinary career has been devoted to improving opportunities for working families. She is an excellent choice to lead OMB,” Jarret said.
A veteran of multiple presidential administrations, Tanden has been a leading architect and advocate of policies designed to support working families, foster broad-based economic growth, and curb inequality throughout her career, the Biden Transition said Monday.
Her experience as a child relying on food stamps and Section 8 housing ? a social safety net that offered her single mother the foundation she needed to land a good job and punch her family’s ticket to the middle class ? instilled in her the true necessity of an economy that serves the dignity and humanity of all people, the transition said.
Tanden was born in Bedford, Massachusetts to immigrant parents from India. Her parents divorced when she was five, after which Tanden’s mother was on welfare for nearly two years before obtaining a job as a travel agent.
Tanden will be a fantastic OMB Director, said Jon Cowan, president of Third Way progressive think-tank.
“She is a battle-tested policy expert who is widely respected for her passion and intelligence,” he said in a statement.
Prior to her tenure as President & CEO, Tanden held the post of Chief Operating Officer at the Center for American Progress.
She currently serves on the New Jersey Restart and Recovery Commission, and previously served as senior adviser for health reform at the US Department of Health and Human Services developing policies and provisions of the Affordable Care Act, as director of domestic policy for the first Obama-Biden presidential campaign, and in a variety of other roles in government and on the campaign trail.
Tanden received her bachelor of science degree from UCLA and her JD from Yale Law School.
According to The New York Times, Tanden has advocated aggressive spending to alleviate economic harm from the pandemic and has dismissed concerns about adding to the deficit at the current moment.
“She’s a strategic policy wonk with lived experience who will fight tirelessly for working families and kids. I was a budget examiner at OMB & the career staff there is the best in the business. Neera will be an exceptional leader,? said Winnie Stachelberg from Center for American Progress.
Jen Psaki, who has been named at the White House Press Secretary, said Tanden is a brilliant policy expert and knows how vital funding for govt programmes is.
“As a child for a period her family relied on food stamps to eat, on Section 8 vouchers to pay the rent and on the social safety. Her fresh perspective can help meet this moment,” she said.
The story has been taken from a news agency