Biden inducts another Pakistani American into his team

Published January 17, 2021
Pakistani American Salman Ahmed, who served as head of strategic planning in the Obama National Security Council, is joining the US State Department as director policy planning. — Photo courtesy Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website
Pakistani American Salman Ahmed, who served as head of strategic planning in the Obama National Security Council, is joining the US State Department as director policy planning. — Photo courtesy Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website

WASHINGTON: US President-elect Joe Biden has inducted a second Pakistani American, Salman Ahmed, into his foreign policy team, said a statement issued on Friday.

Mr Ahmed, who served as head of strategic planning in the Obama National Security Council, is joining the US State Department as director policy planning.

Last month, Mr Biden announced that another Pakistani American, Ali Zaidi, will join his team as Deputy National Climate Adviser.

Mr Ahmed was chief of staff of the US Mission to the United Nations and senior policy adviser to the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Before joining the Department of State in 2009, Mr Ahmed served as a visiting professor and research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and worked for almost fifteen years at the United Nations, including posts as chief of staff for the Head of UN Peacekeeping Operations.

Mr Ahmed holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor of Science in economics from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Mr Zaidi will work directly under former Secretary of State John Kerry who has been appointed Mr Biden’s special envoy for climate.

Mr Zaidi played a key role in drafting and implementing the Obama administration’s climate action plan and helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement.

Mr Biden has also inducted two women from the Indian-occupied Kashmir into his team. Sameera Fazili, an American of Kashmiri origin, has been appointed the deputy director of the National Economic Council (NEC). In December 2020, another Kashmir-born woman, Aisha Shah, was inducted into Biden’s team as partnership manager of the White House Digital Strategy team.

Uzra Zeya, another Indian Muslim, has been appointed Undersecretary of State for arms control, democracy and human rights.

The US media pointed out that Mr Biden has “filled out his State Department team with former career diplomats and veterans of the Obama administration, signaling his desire to return to a more traditional foreign policy after four years of uncertainty and unpredictability under President Donald Trump.”

“This diverse and accomplished team … embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies,” Mr Biden said in a statement. “Collectively, they have secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory — and I am confident that they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership.”

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Energy inflation
Updated 23 May, 2024

Energy inflation

The widening gap between the haves and have-nots is already tearing apart Pakistan’s social fabric.
Culture of violence
23 May, 2024

Culture of violence

WHILE political differences are part of the democratic process, there can be no justification for such disagreements...
Flooding threats
23 May, 2024

Flooding threats

WITH temperatures in GB and KP forecasted to be four to six degrees higher than normal this week, the threat of...
Bulldozed bill
Updated 22 May, 2024

Bulldozed bill

Where once the party was championing the people and their voices, it is now devising new means to silence them.
Out of the abyss
22 May, 2024

Out of the abyss

ENFORCED disappearances remain a persistent blight on fundamental human rights in the country. Recent exchanges...
Holding Israel accountable
22 May, 2024

Holding Israel accountable

ALTHOUGH the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor wants arrest warrants to be issued for Israel’s prime...