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Two Indian Americans Get High Profile Jobs in Obama Adminstration

India Abroad.com, Rediff.com, Posted: Aug 02, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The Indian community is rejoicing about two high-level appointments from the community in the Obama administration. President Barack Obama has nominated his former roommate and major fundraiser Vinai Thummalapally as the next U.S. Ambassador to Belize, reports Rediff.com. India Abroad magazine reports that veteran community and Democratic Party activist Rajen Anand has been appointed executive director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. If Thummalapally is confirmed he would be the first Indian-American ambassador. Bill Clinton had nominated his friend and fundraiser Vin Gupta as envoy to Bermuda but withdrew the nomination when questions arose about his finances. Thummalapally and Obama were college roommates, Lakers fans and Thummalapally introduced Obama to home-cooked South Indian food. After college, Thummalapally did not return to India as he had planned to but moved to Colorado Springs to start a CD and DVD manufacturing company. He raised between $100,000 and $200,000 for Obama's campaign. Rajen Anand has a longer history in the Indian-American community, having chaired the Indo-American Political Association and the National Federation of Indian Associations. He has degrees in human physiology and nutrition. He will lead a 50-member staff that will evaluate and rank the latest nutrition science and publish a new Dietary Guidelines in 2010, which affects programs like the Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children and allotments for food stamps.

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