Indian American Diplomat Appointed as US Trade and Development Agency Chief

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Joe Biden, on Monday, 18 October, appointed Vinai Thummalapally to the post of Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the United States (US) Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). Thummalapally will also assume the role of acting director till the director is appointed by the US Senate.

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The 66-year-old Indian American has previously served the US government between 2013 and 2017. He served as the executive director of the Department of Commerce's SelectUSA. The initiative facilitates "job creating business investment into the US".

Thummalapally has been credited to be the first Indian American Ambassador in the history of US. He served as the US Ambassador to Belize from 2009 to 2013.

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The former diplomat, having had 30 years of experience in the private sector has also been part of civil society organisations. His private sector experience includes, "most recently as the Executive Chairman of Red Fort Strategies, a Washington based public affairs and government relations firm, and the president of MAM-A Inc, a US manufacturer and distributor of archival recordable optical discs. He also served as the board member for Cyient, a global digital engineering and technology company," USTDA mentioned in a statement.

Thummalapally has worked as a board member of the Indian American Impact project and through this role encouraged Indian Americans to run for public office. He also was an adviser to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Victory Fund.

The US Trade and Development Agency has a global reputation for excellence, results, and setting the standard for American economic engagement overseas," said Mr Thummalapally in a statement. "It is an honour to lead this Agency and its exceptional team of professionals. I share their commitment to USTDA's mission of creating US jobs through exports, supporting the economic growth of the United States, and facilitating the development of sustainable infrastructure overseas using the best of what US industry has to offer."

(With inputs from the PTI.)

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