The Biden Administration has appointed four Indian-Americans to senior positions in the crucial Department of Energy. The administration appointed Tarak Shah as the Chief of Staff, making him the first Indian-American to serve in that position. Tanya Das has been named as the Chief of Staff to the Office of Science, Narayan Subramanian will occupy the position of Legal Adviser in the Office of General Counsel, and Shuchi Talati has been appointed as Chief of Staff in the Office of Fossil Energy.
“These talented and diverse public servants will deliver on President Biden’s goal to tackle the climate crisis and build an equitable clean energy future,” said Shah as the Department of Energy announced 19 senior-level appointments.
“Guided by their expertise, breadth of experience and following the science, these Department of Energy appointees will contribute to creating a clean energy economy that produces millions of good-paying American jobs and safeguards the planet for future generations,” Shah said.
In addition to the Biden-Harris appointees, David G Huizenga will serve as the Acting Secretary of Energy. He was most recently Associate Principal Deputy Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration and has been a career employee at the department since 1987.
Tarak Shah is an energy policy expert who has spent the last decade working on combating climate change. At the Biden-Harris transition, Shah was the personnel lead for the climate and science team.
From 2014-2017, he served as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for Science and Energy at the department. Shah has also worked on political campaigns, including President Obama's senate and presidential campaigns.
He had received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his MBA from Cornell University.
Tanya Das was most recently a professional staff member on the US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where she worked on a range of issues in clean energy and manufacturing policy.
She earned her PhD in electrical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her BS in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Narayan Subramanian was a visiting research fellow at the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at Berkeley Law, leading a project tracking regulatory rollbacks, and served as a fellow at the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Data for Progress.
Subramanian holds a JD from Columbia Law School, an MPA from the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and a BS in earth and environmental engineering from Columbia University.
Shuchi Talati was most recently a Senior Policy Adviser at Carbon180, where she focused on policies to build sustainable and equitable technological carbon removal. She also served as a policy volunteer on the Biden-Harris campaign.
Dr Talati earned a BS from Northwestern University, an MA from Columbia University and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University.
The Department of Energy said the new leaders will direct policy at the DOE, coordinate across the Administration and enact President Joe Biden’s vision for bold action on the climate crisis and on safeguarding the Americans most affected by it.
These experienced professionals reflect President Biden’s pledge to equip his Administration with a team that represents America’s diversity, it said.