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NEW YORK: Nisha Desai Biswal was on Thursday sworn as the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs,becoming the Obama administration’s top person for South Asia.
A civil servant, Biswal has been serving as assistant administrator for Asia at the US Agency for International Development which is headed by Indian American Rajiv Shah.
Thanking President Barack Obama for whom she worked during the 2008 presidential election campaign during her swearing-in in Washington DC, Nisha said, “It’s such an honor for me that Secretary Kerry and President [Barack] Obama have placed in me their faith and their trust to take on this very important job.”
Praising Nisha for her dedication to her role as a civil servant, Secretary of State John Kerry, said she “takes charge of our efforts now in one of the most complex, dynamic regions of the world… Two billion people – that’s what she’s going to be engaged with. They create $2 trillion in economic output every single year. And we are invested in that region’s prosperity for the long haul and in naming Nisha Biswal as the Assistant Secretary today, we show the strength of that commitment.’’
Responding, Nisha said she would “everything possible to bridge from the Asia we see today to the Asia that we know is possible tomorrow.’’
Recalling the journey of her family to the US, she said, “My parents and my in-laws lived the classic immigrant experience as they left India in search of opportunity,” recalled Biswal as she was formally sworn into her new position Thursday as the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.
“And in so doing, they fulfilled their dreams and found that their dreams are the American dream, and their experience is the American experience.’’