Indian American Sonal Shah has been appointed as one of the 33 new members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has made the announcement.
The new members of the Secretary’s Advisory Council include:
- Former Cabinet Secretaries from both Democratic and Republican administrations
- Chief executive officers from the technology, energy, transportation, financial, food and consumer products, and venture capital industries
- Executive leaders of national law enforcement organizations
- Presidents and CEOs of non-profit organizations dedicated to human rights, government accountability, and community security and empowerment
- Leaders of nonpartisan policy institutes
- Other leading professionals
Shah, who was born in Mumbai and migrated to the US in 1972 at the age of four, has served as the National Policy Director for Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s run in the 2020 presidential election. After migrating to the US, Shah grew up in Houston, TX and graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in economics from Duke University.
In early 2021, when the Biden administration had appointed many Indian Americans, she was left out since more than a dozen Indian-American organizations raised concerns about her political affiliations in India. Shah’s father, Ramesh Shah, was the President of Overseas Friends of BJP-USA and is the founder of RSS-run Ekal Vidyalaya. Sonal Shah had also worked with Viswa Hindu Parishad.
The Biden administration later appointed Shah as a commissioner to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
She is the Executive Vice President, Worldwide Network Operations, United Way Worldwide, and Founding President, The Asian American Foundation, the largest philanthropic effort to serve the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.