Tag Archives: Indian American

USINPAC celebrates the victory of Indian American Nina Davuluri who became the first Indian American to be crowned Miss America

Nina Davuluri won the 2014 Miss America pageant on Sunday, becoming the first Indian-American to wear the crown, which went to Miss New York for the second year in a row.

“I’m so happy this organization has celebrated diversity, and, on this stage tonight, there was so much diversity,” Davuluri told reporters shortly after defeating contestants from 49 other states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

“I’m so proud to be the first Indian Miss America,” the 24-year-old aspiring physician said.

The field was narrowed to Davuluri and Miss California Crystal Lee, the first runner-up. Just before the results were announced, Davuluri said, “We are making history right here as Asian-Americans.”

Contestants were judged on a personal interview, a talent demonstration, an on-stage question, and their appearance in evening gowns and swimwear during the two-hour nationally televised event.

Davuluri performed a Bollywood fusion dance and was asked about revelations that American television personality Julie Chen had plastic surgery on her eyes. Davuluri answered that she personally was opposed to plastic surgery and said that one’s diversity should be celebrated.

As the winner, Davuluri will receive a $50,000 scholarship. She said she would use the money to pay for graduate school.

Last year’s winner, Mallory Hagan from New York, crowned her successor.

Several contestants made headlines during preliminary competitions. Miss Iowa, Nicole Kelly, was born without her left forearm and said the competition helped her promote a platform of overcoming disabilities. Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas and a sergeant in the Army National Guard, became the first contestant to display tattoos.

The 93-year-old beauty pageant returned to its hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey, this year after an eight-year stretch in Las Vegas.

Atlantic City is about 60 miles (100 km) south of Seaside Park, New Jersey, the site of a massive boardwalk fire on Thursday night. In a press conference following the pageant, Davuluri volunteered to help clean up the damaged boardwalk.

The pageant’s return to the New Jersey shore could help the local economy, which was hard hit by last year’s Superstorm Sandy. The Atlantic City Alliance, an economic development group, estimated it would bring in about $30 million in business.

The Miss America pageant was televised live by ABC, which picked up the contest again in 2011 after dropping it in 2004 because of a steep ratings decline. Miss America has seen its popularity ebb and flow over its nearly 100-year history and it has been the target of critics who say the pageant format objectifies women.

The judges were former Miss America Deidre Downs Gunn, the New York Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire, Lance Bass from the boy band ‘N Sync, comedian Mario Cantone, violinist Joshua Bell and television chef Carla Hall.


Source: Reuters

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Sangeeta Rana for being one amongst the 23 candidates who have been named as Fulbright-Clinton Fellows

Sangeeta Rana was recently named as one of 23 candidates named a Fulbright-Clinton Fellow.

The Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship is a component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which was inaugurated in 2012.

The Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship allows fellows to serve in professional placements as “special assistants” in foreign government ministries or institutions and to gain hands-on public sector experience in participating foreign countries while simultaneously carrying out an academic research/study project.

Rana has experience in public health research and practice, as well as direct patient care. Previously, she managed a policy research team at Boston Children’s Hospital that developed measures of quality of care for national use. She has researched national health policies in the U.S., China, Brazil, and Ghana, and has worked globally in public health and medicine.

The Indian American received a master’s in public health in health care management and policy from the Harvard School of Public Health, a medical degree from the University of London, and a bachelor’s degree with honors in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley.

Following the fellowship, Rana plans to continue working in global health policy, specifically in supporting public sector institutions to improve access to high quality care.

She is interested in supporting health systems and improving quality of care in resource limited settings. Through her fellowship, Rana will evaluate quality of care in primary health care centers serving vulnerable populations.

Based on the results and identified needs, she will work with local stakeholders to develop quality improvement strategies that contribute to and complement government efforts to improve access and quality.

Source: IndiaWest

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Puneet Talwar on his appointment as Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs

US President Barack Obama has nominated Indian-American Puneet Talwar as Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs, a top diplomatic post.

Talwar, who was Obama’s top advisor on the Middle East region for over four years was nominated for the position by Obama yesterday.

He is the second Indian-American to be nominated as the Assistant Secretary position in the State Department.

In July, Nisha Desai Biswal was nominated as the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.

Both the positions need to be confirmed by the Senate. Obama announced his intent to nominate Talwar to the top State Department position along with nearly 30 senior administration positions.

I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people,” Obama said.

I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years,” he added.

If confirmed by the Congress, Talwar, in his capacity as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs, will provide policy direction in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defence strategy and plans, and defence trade.

The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM), is the Department of State’s principal link to the Department of Defence.

Since 2009, Talwar has been a Special Assistant to the U.S. President and Senior Director for Iran, Iraq and the Gulf states on the White House National Security Staff.

Prior to this, Talwar had served as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate (SFRC) from 2001 to 2009 and from 1997 to 1999, he was the chief advisor on the Middle East to then Senator Joseph R Biden, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Talwar served as a member of the Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 1999 to 2001.

From 1992 to 1995, he served as a foreign policy advisor to Representative Thomas C Sawyer and from 1990 to 1992, as an official with the United Nations.

Talwar received a BS from Cornell University and an MA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Source: The Economic Times

USINPAC cheers for Indian American Manju Goel who has announced her bid to seek Republican party nomination to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress

Indian-American Manju Goel has announced her bid to seek Republican party nomination to run for a seat in the US Congress, focussing on divisive issues like “Obamacare” and the growing national debt.

Ms Goel, an Aurora resident and conservative who was born in India, hopes to win the Republican primary in March and then take on incumbent Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth for the 8th district congressional seat.

Ms Goel outlined her campaign platform on Sunday during the Northwest Suburban Republican Family Picnic at Busse Woods Forest Preserve in Elk Grove Village.

She is being backed by a national group of Republicans, including Texas congressman Pete Sessions, who accompanied Ms Goel to Sunday’s picnic.

This will be Ms Goel’s first run for public office, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

America is on the wrong track,” she said during the event, her first public comments since announcing her candidacy.

“We are spending $1.60 for every dollar we bring in. We are discouraging rather than encouraging entrepreneurs and job creators with burdensome regulations.” Ms Goel took particular aim at “Obamacare,” which she called the “biggest of all job killers.”

After working more than five years in the health care industry as a process improvement specialist, she said neither patients nor doctors like the Affordable Health Care Act, which she, like many Republicans, refer to as “Obamacare.”

“Obamacare has to go, and Tammy Duckworth must go,” Ms Goel said was quoted as saying by Daily Herald newspaper.

She also said America must rid itself of debt, and she would support a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. “Washington spends our hard earned money like there is no tomorrow,” she said.

Since the global economic crisis in 2008, U.S. federal debt has increased from $5 trillion to an estimated $12 trillion in 2013, according to media reports.

In her campaign literature, Ms Goel said she grew up in a middle-class family in northern India and came to the U.S. at the age of 21.

Source: NDTV

USINPAC is delighted for 13 year old Indian American Arvind Mahankali who has created history by winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the year 2013

Arvind Mahankali from New York has scripted history by winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the year 2013, becoming the sixth Indian-American to win the title in a row.

The words were extremely hard. It means that I am retiring in a good mood,” Arvind said immediately after winning the prestigious national championship.

This is the sixth consecutive year that an Indian American has won the prestigious national tournament, which was watched live by millions of people in the United States. A grade eight student, Arvind, 13, loves maths and science and plans to pursue a career as a physicist.

Arvind, this year, made his fourth consecutive trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He had finished ninth in 2010 and third place in both 2011 and 2012.

A speaker of Telugu and Spanish, Arvind enjoys tennis, basketball and drama, and counts Novak Djokovic and Shaquille O’Neal among his favorite athletes.

Last three contestants were Indian Americans — Pranav Shivakumar from Illinois, Sriram Hathwar from New York; and Arvind Mahankali from New York.

Source: Sahil Online