- Raghavan was President Obama’s liaison to the LGBTQ and AAPI community, and currently serves as Chief of Staff to Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
Gautam Raghavan, currently chief of staff to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), has been named to former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential transition team. Raghavan had earlier endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the primary. Leading Biden’s transition team is former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), Biden’s longtime Senate chief of staff. The team was announced on June 20.
“The next president will confront an ongoing global health pandemic and inherit an economy in its worst shape since the Great Depression,” Kaufman said in a statement issued by the campaign. “No one will have taken office facing such daunting obstacles since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” he said. “Joe Biden is prepared to meet these urgent challenges on the day he is sworn in as president, and begin the hard work of addressing the public health crisis and rebuilding an economy that puts working families first,” Kaufman said. “In that spirit, and to ensure continuity of government during such a critical moment for our country, we have begun the very early stages of pre-transition planning.”
Raghavan joined Jayapal in December 2018, after she was re-elected to a second term with a whopping majority. Prior to that, Raghavan worked as a consultant with GR Strategies in Washington, D.C. According to his LinkedIn profile, he “provided policy analysis and strategic guidance to progressive organizations focused on securing political power and social change, including the Indian American Impact Project & Fund, Biden Foundation, the Asian American & Pacific Islander Victory Fund, Out2Enroll, GLAAD, and SocialMovements.org.”
From 2014 to 2017, he served as vice president of Policy for the Gill Foundation, where he managed multi-million-dollar investments in federal and state level policy advocacy focused on equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Americans.
From 2011 to 2014, he served as President Barack Obama’s liaison to the LGBTQ community as well as the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Before that he was the Acting White House Liaison for the U.S. Department of Defense and as Outreach Lead for the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group.
Before joining the Obama administration, Raghavan worked to strengthen the progressive movement and expand the Democratic Party as director of the 2008 Obama campaign’s Asian American Finance Committee and as Midwest Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee under Chairman Howard Dean.
Raghavan was born in India, raised in Seattle, and graduated from Stanford University.
He has been honored by the Tyler Clementi Foundation, NQAPIA, and Out Magazine. He serves on advisory boards for the Council for Global Equality, Washington Leadership Program, and Sheryl Sandberg’s OptionB.org.
He is also the editor of “West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House” (Penguin Books). He lives with his husband and their daughter in Washington, D.C.