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Obama appoints Indian-American lawyer to key post

Leading Indian-American lawyer Preeta Bansal has been appointed in Office of Management and Budget in upcoming administration of Barack Obama.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: January 20, 2009 11:47:28 am

Leading Indian-American lawyer Preeta Bansal has been appointed as the General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the upcoming administration of Barack Obama.

The transition team also announced filling up of other vacancies in the department,including Jeffrey Liebman (Executive Associate Director); Steve Kosiak (Associate Director for Defense and International Affairs),Robert Gordon (Associate Director for Education,Income Maintenance and Labour) and Xavier de Souza Briggs (Associate Director for General Government Programs).

“The Office of Management and Budget in my administration will not only design,manage and implement our budget,it will focus on cutting waste and making sure that our government is serving the American people effectively and efficiently. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead,” Obama said in a statement issued along with the announcement.

Bansal,who was mentioned as possible Solicitor General in the Obama Administration,is currently partner at law firm Skadden,Arps,Slate,Meagher and Flom LLP in New York City.

Considered to be part of the Obama’s inner circle,Bansal has also been a Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom,serving as Chair from 2004-2005.

In that capacity,Bansal participated in US diplomatic missions to Iraq,Afghanistan,Uzbekistan,Saudi Arabia,China,Russia,Vietnam,Turkey,Hong Kong,and South Asia,and presided over a nationally acclaimed Commission study on Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) procedures for expedited removal of US asylum seekers.

From 1999-2002,Bansal was Solicitor General of the State of New York,where she helped supervise the legal positions of 600 attorneys in the New York Attorney General’s office.

From 1993-1996,Bansal served as a counsellor in the Office of Policy Development and Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice,and as a Special Counsel in the Office of the White House Counsel.

Harvard educated Bansal was a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens of the US Supreme Court. She has been a Commissioner on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Election Modernization Task Force and serves on numerous non-profit boards.

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