Pramila Jayapal hires Indian-American Obama aide as chief of staff

WASHINGTON, Dec 4: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, the first-ever Indian-American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, has appointed Gautam Raghavan, a former White House official, as her chief of staff.
Jayapal, a national leader of the progressive movement, who has made a mark on immigration and rights-related issues, was last month re-elected to the House of Representatives for her second term from the Washington state.
Raghavan currently serves as executive director of the Indian American Impact Project & Fund. He is also an adviser to the Biden Foundation.
A former Obama White House official and political consultant, Raghavan led IMPACT through a historic election cycle in which an unprecedented number of Indian-Americans ran for office at the federal and state level. He will continue to serve on IMPACT’s boards of directors, a media release said.
From 2011 to 2014, Raghavan served as President Barack Obama’s liaison to the LGBTQ community as well as the Asian-American & Pacific Islander community.
From 2009 to 2011, he was acting White House Liaison for the US Department of Defense and as outreach lead for the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group.
A first-generation immigrant, Raghavan was born in India, raised in the Seattle area and he graduated from Stanford University.
“Since joining Congress, Jayapal quickly established herself as a bold, unapologetic, national voice for progressive values. With so much at stake, I can think of no better place to fight for a more just, fair, and prosperous future than at her side,” Raghavan said.
In a statement, Jayapal said her goals in the 116th Congress would continue to be stand for a bold, progressive agenda that ensures opportunity.
“The progressive movement has never been stronger, and I look forward to translating that into real wins for working people, women, immigrants, those living in poverty and the most marginalised,” she said.
“I’m thrilled to have Gautam, a fellow Seattleite, joining our exceptional team. I know his experience and leadership will continue guiding our office as we fight for real progressive change in Washington and across our country in hopes of creating a fairer and more just country,” Jayapal said.
“As our founding executive director, Gautam has worked tirelessly to raise the visibility of our organisation, our community, and our leaders,” said Raj Goyle, co-founder of IMPACT and chair of the Impact Project.
“While we’re sad to lose him, we are thrilled that he will be a top adviser to Congresswoman Jayapal, one of the most prominent Indian-Americans in elected office today. This kind of talent pipeline is why IMPACT exists,” Goyle said.
“Under Gautam’s leadership, Impact Fund endorsed over 20 candidates and deployed more funds for Indian-American candidates than any political organisation in history,” Deepak Raj, co-founder of IMPACT and chair of the Impact Fund, said. (PTI)