- During the confirmation hearing she said as an immigrant, she represents “the diverse face of the United States and the generations of people throughout our history who found opportunity in our great country.”
Indian American political activist Shefali Razdan Duggal has been confirmed as the next U.S. envoy to the Netherlands. She was confirmed on Sept. 14 by the U.S. Senate by a voice vote.
During her confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in July, she said that if confirmed, she looked forward “to enthusiastically representing and serving the American people as a force multiplier for good to advance key U.S. foreign policy priorities.”
She told the committee members that as an immigrant, she represents “the diverse face of the United States and the generations of people throughout our history who found opportunity in our great country.”
Razdan Duggal was raised by a single mom in Cincinnati, “who worked two minimum wage jobs” to support the family. “My father left us when I was very young, and this profoundly and permanently affected the direction of my life,” she said at her confirmation hearing. “Rather than dwell upon what I did not have, I embraced the boundless opportunities that we are given here in the United States.” She attended college and graduate school with the help of loans, grants, and scholarships.
“As I faced some of my own challenges of being a minority woman with limited resources, I became attuned to the values of diversity and inclusion that continue to inspire me today. I also focused on the rights of minorities and the critical importance of being a voice of the oppressed,” which motivated her to pursue “my years of work with Human Rights Watch and to serve as a Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.”
Currently the Western Regional Advisor for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council, she also serves on the Leadership and Character Council (Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina) and on the National Advisory Board of Inside Washington (Miami University, Oxford Ohio). She previously served on the National Board of Directors for Emily’s List, and as a deputy national finance chair at the Democratic National Committee.
She was on the National Finance Committee for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, additionally serving as an Obama Victory Trustees Co-Chair and Northern California Finance Committee Member. She has also worked with Senator Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, where she was a member of the campaign’s Northern California Steering Committee and the Women for Hillary Committee. She was also on the Finance Committee for Vice President Kamala Harris’ campaign for the California attorney general and was a member of her transition team.
In addition, she was executive director of Indus Women Leaders and was both a graduate and on the advisory board of Emerge California, a political leadership training program for Democratic women. A board member of the Indian American Leadership Initiative, she was on the National Advisory Board of Doctors for America, on the national advisory board of Beyond Bollywood (Smithsonian Museum) and a Senior Advisor for South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA).
Earlier in her career, she worked as a political analyst at Staton Hughes as well as at the Massachusetts Democratic Party, the New Hampshire Democratic Party and the offices of Sens. Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein. She worked on Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and was an at-large delegate to the 2000 National Democratic Convention from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
A Kashmiri born in Haridwar, Razdan Duggal moved to the U.S. at a very young age and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, having received a B.S. in Mass Communication, with a minor in Political Science. She then went on to receive her M.A. in Media Ecology from New York University. She lives in San Francisco and is married to Rajat Duggal. The couple has two children.