- Bains is named special assistant to the President for Criminal Justice, while Gupta is special assistant to the President for Labor and Workers.
President Joe Biden has appointed two Indian Americans as additional members of policy staff who will serve with the Domestic Policy Council (DPC). Chiraag Bains is named special assistant to the President for Criminal Justice, while Pronita Gupta is special assistant to the President for Labor and Workers. Although Gupta’s appointment was reported by Bloomberg in January, the White House announced it on March 5.
Bains was recently the director of Legal Strategies at Demos, a national public policy organization where he led voting rights litigation and advocacy across the country. Before that, he was a senior fellow at Harvard Law School and at the Open Society Foundations. From 2010 to 2017, Bains served in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, first as a prosecutor of civil rights crimes and then as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General. He was a member of the team that investigated and sued Ferguson, Missouri, for constitutional violations. Bains clerked for the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Nancy Gertner in the District of Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.
Gupta, most recently, was the director of job quality for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). Prior to joining CLASP, she served as the deputy director of the Women’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama. 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. Gupta also served as research director for SCOPE/AGENDA in Los Angeles, and for the Living Wage Campaign at the LA Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). Early in her career she served as executive director of Institute for Southern Studies and legislative director for the U.S. Student Association. Raised in Rochester, New York, Gupta holds an MPA from Columbia University and a BA in Government from Clark University.
A week before his inauguration, Biden Biden named Vidur Sharma to the White House COVID-19 response team to quickly implement a comprehensive response strategy to contain the pandemic, restore public trust, and protect all Americans. As Policy Advisor for Testing, Sharma plays an integral roles in implementing and executing President Biden’s strategy to effectively and equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, while also increasing testing and taking other important steps that will be key to changing the course of the pandemic.