- The Indian American previously served as deputy assistant to President Obama and created the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
Indian American Sonal Shah is among 33 new members named to a new Homeland Security Advisory Council to “strengthen the department to better meet the increasingly dynamic and rapidly evolving threat landscape, and harness technology and innovation to modernize the programs it administers,” according to a Department of Homeland Security press release.
The appointment was announced last week by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “These distinguished leaders have agreed to serve our country as members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council at a critically important time not only for the nation, but also for the world,” said Secretary Mayorkas in a DHS press release. “Together, we will ensure that the department is best positioned to meet the challenges we confront today, foresee and be ready for the challenges of tomorrow, capitalize on the power of technological innovation, and serve our country by living up to our highest ideals.
Shah is the founding president of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), a convener, incubator, and funder committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. A social impact and innovation leader, she previously founded and led Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, providing students a first-hand opportunity to work on social impact projects in the public, private, and social sectors.
She served as deputy assistant to President Obama and created the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. Shah also has significant experience working internationally as an economist at the Department of Treasury, setting up the central bank in Bosnia, working for post-conflict reconstruction in Kosovo, and implementing poverty reduction strategies in Africa. She also served as the chief of operations for the Center for Global Development
In 2019-20, she served as the National Policy Director for Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. She serves on the boards of TAAF, Oxfam America, the Century Foundation, and the National Democratic Institute.