Indian-American Gets Key Post At US Trade Agency

US President Joe Biden appointed Indian-American former diplomat Vinai Thummalapally as the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the federal agency dealing with trade and related issues, on Monday.

Before this appointment, Mr Thummalapally, served as the Executive Director of SelectUSA, a US Department of Commerce initiative that facilitates job-creating business investment into the United States, from 2013 to 2017.

“President Biden has appointed Vinai Thummalapally as USTDA’s Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. Thummalapally assumes the role of Acting Director of USTDA until a Director is confirmed by the Senate,” USTDA said.

The 66-year-old also served as US Ambassador to Belize from 2009 to 2013, when he became the first Indian American ambassador in United States history.

“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.

“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,” he said in a statement.

USTDA mentioned in a statement, Thummalapally has more than 30 years of experience in the private sector, including most recently as the Executive Chairman of Red Fort Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs and government relations firm, and as the President of MAM-A Inc., a US manufacturer and distributor of archival recordable optical discs.

“His civic leadership experience includes service as a board member of the Indian American Impact Project, a non-profit promoting Indian Americans to run for public office, and as an advisor to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Victory Fund. He has also served as a board member for Cyient, a global digital engineering and technology company,” USTDA said.

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