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Indian-American Sonal Shah appointed Obama’s advisor

Indian-American Sonal Shah has been appointed an advisory board member by US President-elect Barack Obama to assist his team in smooth transition of power.

Indian-American Sonal Shah, an eminent economist who heads Google’s philanthropic arm, has been appointed an advisory board member by US President-elect Barack Obama to assist his team in smooth transition of power.

40-year-old Shah is part of a panel comprising individuals with significant private and public sector experience who will offer their expertise in their respective fields to Obama’s transition team, US media reported on Thursday.

She along with other members of the advisory board will help the transition team headed by former White House chief of staff John Podesta, longtime Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse, the President-elect’s Senate chief of staff.

Shah, who was named the ‘Person of the Year 2003’ by ‘India Abroad’ publication, currently works for Google.org on their Global Development team, where she is engaged in defining their global development strategy and promoting the firm’s philanthropy work.

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Prior to joining Google, she was Vice President at Goldman, Sachs and Co. and developed and implemented its environmental strategy. She has also served as the Associate Director for Economic and National Security Policy at the Centre for American Progress, where she worked on trade, outsourcing and post-conflict reconstruction issues.

In the past, she also worked with the Department of Treasury on various economic issues and regions of the world.

Shah is the co-founder of the US-based non-profit organisation Indicorps which offers one-year fellowships for Indian-origin Americans to work on specific development projects in India.

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Her father moved from Gujarat to New York in 1970 and she along with her sister and mother joined him in 1972. She also has a brother.

First published on: 06-11-2008 at 07:58:54 pm
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