- Pronita Gupta is Special Assistant to the President for Labor and Workers on the Domestic Policy Council, while Micheal C. George is the policy advisor to the Vice President.
President Biden has named two Obama-era officials to key roles in his administration. Labor policy expert Pronita Gupta is Special Assistant to the President for Labor and Workers on the Domestic Policy Council, while Micheal C. George – son of Indian and Filipino immigrants – is the policy advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris.
During the Obama-Biden administration, Gupta served at the U.S. Department of Labor and George worked at the White House National Economic Council. Bloomberg reports Ms. Gupta has extensive experience in community and labor organizing. that Gupta’s “portfolio as White House labor adviser is largely undefined.” The report adds: “Previous appointees have wielded varying levels of influence and job responsibility depending on the president’s needs and relationship with the labor secretary.”
Gupta most recently served as director of the Job Quality at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). In that role, she promoted policy solutions that create more responsive workplaces, improved job quality for workers, strengthened worker protections, and increased economic security for low-income working families, as per the CLASP website.
Prior to joining CLASP, Gupta served as the deputy director of the women’s bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama. In that role, she worked to advance and improve standards, practices, and opportunities for women in the labor force.
She also previously served as senior director of programs for the Women Donors Network (WDN) as well as research director for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, as per her LinkedIn page. She served as research director for SCOPE/AGENDA in Los Angeles, where she helped develop their health care jobs campaign, and as research director for the Living Wage Campaign at the LA Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE).
Additionally, Gupta served as executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies and legislative director for the U.S. Student Association. She holds an MPA from Columbia University and a BA in Government from Clark University.
George was previously working with the Biden-Harris transition team as an economic policy personnel, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously worked at the White House National Economic Council during the Obama administration.Asian Journal reports that George has “dedicated his career examining how policy can improve social mobility and reduce inequalities.”
Announcing his appointment in a Feb. 4 tweet, George wrote: “As the son of Indian and Filipino immigrants, I’m honored and humbled to share some personal news: I’ve started a new job as a Policy Advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris, our first Asian American VP.”
In a followup tweet he said: “Our economy has been broken for too many people for too long — long before COVID-19 and even before the Great Recession. I would know: my own family lost our nest egg in the Enron scandal in 2001.” He continued, “That experience taught me that big problems need policy solutions that meet the moment. I’ve devoted my career to combating inequality and to ensuring that all of us, not just the powerful, can succeed in our economy. Time to get to work!”
Before joining the Biden-Harris transition team, George was the program officer on economic mobility and opportunity for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He studied government and economics at Harvard University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He received his master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar.