Biden names Indian-American Sameera Fazili as Deputy Director of National Economic Council

Joe Biden has appointed Indian-American community and economic development expert Sameera Fazili to a key White House position. Fazili has been named as Deputy Director, National Economic Council at the White House, the Biden-Harris Transition announced on Friday.

The National Economic Council coordinates the economic policy making process and provide economic policy advice to the US president.

Fazili is currently the Economic Agency lead on the Biden-Harris Transition. She was earlier posted at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta where she served as the Director of Engagement for Community and Economic Development.

Fazili is the second Kashmiri-origin Indian-American appointed to a key position in the incoming Biden administration.

In December, Aisha Shah was named as Partnerships Manager at the White House Office of Digital Strategy.

In the Obama-Biden administration, Fazili served as a senior policy advisor on the White House's National Economic Council and as a senior advisor at the US Treasury Department in both Domestic Finance and International Affairs.

Prior to that, she was a clinical lecturer of law at Yale Law School. Originally from Buffalo, she now lives in Georgia with her husband and three children. Fazili is a graduate of Yale Law School and Harvard College. Before her time in government, Fazili was a clinical lecturer at Yale Law School's community and economic development clinic, where she helped start a CDFI bank and a local anti-foreclosure initiative, and expanded the clinic's work to international microfinance. She also worked at ShoreBank, the nation's first CDFI (community development financial institution) bank. Her work in finance has spanned consumer, housing, small business and microfinance. She received her law degree from Yale Law School and her bachelor of arts in social studies from Harvard College.

She did join (former President) Barack Obama’s regime and she was very popular. On demitting his office, Mr. Obama organised a separate farewell party for Ms. Fazili and her family,” her cousin Shuja Durrani, a businessman, said. He described her appointment as “Kashmir’s proud moment”.

According to the family, Ms. Fazili served as a senior adviser at the NEC and at the Treasury Department of the White House during the Obama administration. She later worked as Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s director of engagement for the community and economic development.

Ms. Fazili last visited Kashmir in 2006-07. She just immersed herself in the Kashmir University's Iqbal Library and the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences for a research paper and kept meeting all relatives to connect with her roots.

Once Mr. Biden formally takes over as on January 20, Ms. Fazili will be part of the top team shaping up the post-COVID economic policies of the U.S. Her focus, according to the U.S. media reports, will be manufacturing, innovation and domestic competition.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep

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