Vice President Kamala Devi Harris Among ‘Washington’s Most Powerful Women’
- The annual list compiled by the Washingtonian magazine includes four other South Asian Americans who are “shaping things from the arts to medicine to the economy.”
Five South Asian Americans are among ‘Washington’s Most Powerful Women 2021,’ an annual list compiled by the Washingtonian, a monthly magazine. It includes “150-plus hometown heavyweights, national notables, and folks shaping things from the arts to medicine to the economy.” According to the magazine, this year’s list “is replete with new names,” because, “not only did the government change, but the new administration put a lot more women into top jobs, starting with the vice-presidency.”
Leading the list in the ‘National Power and Politics’ category is Vice President Kamala Devi Harris, the most high-profile Indian American currently. The daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, she became the first woman, the first African American and the first South Asian American to be the vice president of the county. “Her election made history, but she’s also been handed some of the new administration’s trickiest portfolios,” the Washingtonian notes.
Joining Harris is Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade Commission. The Pakistani American, considered a critic of big tech, Khan, 32, became the 18th woman to serve as FTC commissioner, and the third Asian American Pacific Islander, after her former boss, Rohit Chopra, now head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Commissioner Dennis Yao, a Democrat nominated to the agency by President George H.W. Bush. The Washingtonian observes that as the battle over tech monopolies is “one of the era’s biggest political scrums,” Khan, “a brilliant lawyer and antitrust expert, will be front and center.”
Also listed in the ‘National Power and Politics’ category is Neera Tanden, senior adviser to President Biden. In her new role, Tanden, a longtime health policy expert will, “be focused on potential ramifications should the Supreme Court strike down the Affordable Care Act, as well as a review of the U.S. Digital Service,” according to a White House press release announcing her May 14 appointment. The Indian American who would have been the first woman of color to lead OMB, faced scrutiny over “mean tweets” during her previous role heading the Center for American Progress. She previously worked in former President Barack Obama’s administration as the Affordable Care Act was designed and implemented.
Radha Muthiah, president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank, features in the ‘Nonprofits and Philanthropy’ section. She leads a team that works “to distribute over 45 million meals worth of good, healthy food, directly and through a network of 400+ partners, to more than 400,000 people in the greater Washington region each year,” her profile on the food bank website says. According to the Washingtonian, the Capital Area Food Bank is among the best-known local charities in the D.C. area.
Swati Sharma, editor in chief of Vox, is among those listed in media. After turning around the ailing Atlantic magazine as its managing editor, the 34-year-old Indian American took on the new challenge at Vox this February. She replaced Lauren Williams, who served as Vox’s senior vice president and editor-in-chief.