- Department of Defense Official Radha Iyengar Plumb was nominated as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
Two Indian Americans feature in separate nominations made by President Joe Biden this week. The 19th round of judicial nominees announced on May 15 includes Roopali H. Desai for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If confirmed, she will be the first South Asian to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as an appellate judge.
In a separate announcement, Radha Iyengar Plumb was the president’s choice for Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment at the U.S. Department of Defense. She currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Desai is a partner at Coppersmith Brockelman where she has practiced since 2007. Before that, she was an associate at Lewis & Roca and served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Mary Schroeder on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She received her J.D. in 2005, her M.P.H in 2001, and her B.A. in 2000, all from the University of Arizona.
Before her appointment as chief of staff, Iyengar Plumb was the Director of Research and Insights for Trust & Safety at Google, “leading their cross-functional teams on business analytics, data science, and technical research,” according to her White House bio. “She also served as the Global Head of Policy Analysis at Facebook where she focused on high risk/high harm safety and critical international security issues,” the bio said.
She previously was a Senior Economist at the RAND Corporation where she focused on improving the measurement and evaluation of readiness and security efforts across the Department of Defense. She also held a number of senior staff positions on national security issues at the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the White House National Security Council.
At the outset of her career, she was an assistant professor at the London School of Economics and did her postdoctoral work at Harvard. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Economics from Princeton University, and she holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.