US President-elect Joe Biden has named Indian-American Vedant Patel to be the Assistant Press Secretary as he announced the additional members of the White House Communications and Press Staff. Patel is currently the senior spokesperson of the Biden inaugural committee and has been a part of the Biden campaign as well where he served as Regional Communications Director.
During Biden's primary campaign, Patel served as the Nevada and Western Primary-States Communications Director. Previously, he worked as Communications Director to Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Western Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic National Committee, and Communications Director to Congressman Mike Honda.
Born in the Indian state of Gujarat and raised in California, Patel is a graduate of the University of California-Riverside and the University of Florida. He is the third Indian-American in the White House press shop.
Priya Singh was the first Indian-American in the White House Press and Communication wing. She was White House Press Assistant from Jan 2009 to May 2010 in the Obama administration. Another Indian-American, Raj Shah, served as the White House Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President from 2017 to 2019 under the Trump administration.
Patel is one of the 16 appointments announced by Biden to his White House communications and press staff on Friday. Prominent among them are Megan Apper, Director of Research; Kate Berner, Deputy Communications Director; Rosemary Boeglin, Assistant Press Secretary; Amanda Finney, Chief of Staff for the Press Office and Special Assistant to the Press Secretary; Mike Gwin, Director of Rapid Response and Meghan Hays, Director of Message Planning.
Biden also named Paige Hill as Senior Regional Communications Director, Michael Kikukawa as Press Assistant, Jennifer Molina as Senior Director of Coalitions Media, Kevin Munoz as Assistant Press Secretary, Angela Dela Cruz Perez as Press Assistant, Emma Riley as Chief of Staff for the Office of Communications, Mariel Saez as Director of Broadcast Media, Amijah Townsend-Holmes as Press Assistant and Remi Yamamoto as Senior Advisor for Communications to the Chief of Staff.
These diverse, experienced and talented individuals demonstrate President-elect Biden's continued commitment to building an administration that looks like America and is ready to deliver results for working families on day one, the transition said. "Restoring faith in government by speaking honestly and directly to the American people will be a hallmark of my administration. Our communications and press staff are integral to this effort and are committed to building this country back better for all Americans. I'm proud to have them serve the American people in the White House," Biden said.
According to the incoming White House Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, the appointees are among a diverse and experienced team that is dedicated to rebuilding the trust of the American people amidst a pandemic and a struggling economy.
"In times of crisis, clear communication can save lives and keep families safe. These staff members recognise the important role they play in communicating fact-based information to the public on behalf of the president and vice president-elect. They are respected and creative communicators ready to tackle the urgent challenges facing our nation," he said.