Who Is Shefali Razdan, The Indian-origin Political Activist Nominated As Envoy To Netherlands?  

US President Joe Biden has nominated an Indian-origin political activist Shefali Razdan Duggal as his envoy to the Netherlands. An immigrant to the US from Kashmir, Duggal, 50, has been raised in Cincinnati, Chicago, New York and Boston.  

White House made a series of announcements, on March 11, regarding administrative and diplomatic positions. A part of this was the nomination of Indian-origin political activist Shefali Razdan Dugga as the country’s envoy to the Netherlands.   

Who is Shefali Razdan Duggal?  

Shefali Razdan Duggal, who currently serves as a Western Regional Advisor, is a women’s rights advocate and human rights campaigner.   

Duggal, who has roots in Kashmir, was born on November 22, 1971, in Haridwar. At age two, she moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and later grew up in Ohio.  

In an interview featured on India.com, she stated that her father had closely followed the 1980 Presidential campaign between President Jimmy Carter and Governor Ronald Reagan, stating that no other country would allow a peanut farmer and an actor to run for President. Her father’s belief in the meritocracy of the USA created a deep interest in American politics within her.  

She then completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Miami University and a Master of Arts degree in Media Ecology from New York University.  

“I am genuinely committed to political advocacy. My aspiration is to motivate others, in some small way, to become politically engaged. I sincerely believe that each person, from any particular diverse ethnic and socioeconomic background, can fundamentally make a positive impact within the United States,” read her official website.  

Duggal, in her interview with South Asia Times, said that her career truly began with the 2000 Al Gore presidential campaign, where she became involved with community outreach and political grassroots work, going on to be the At-Large Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Post this, she worked briefly as a political analyst at Staton Hughes, a political strategy firm. Throughout her career, she’s worked for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, the offices of Senators Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, Kamala Harris for California Attorney general campaign, and Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.  

She was a Women for Hillary and Northern California Steering Committee member, a Deputy National Finance Chair at the Democratic National Committee, and the Presidential appointee (Barack Obama) to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. She was also on the National Board of Directors for Emily’s List.  

The Biden-nominated political analyst has served on the National Board of Directors for Emily’s List, was a board member of the Indian American Leadership Initiative, and featured on the National Advisory Board of Doctors for America and the National Advisory Board of Beyond Bollywood.  

“I have been passionately focused on supporting South Asian candidates and engaging the South Asian community in the political process to help alleviate this under representation to achieve the influence we justify,” said Duggal in her interview.   

At present, she is a member of the Human Rights Watch, serves on the Leadership and Character Council (Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC) and the National Advisory Board of Inside Washington (Miami University, Oxford OH).   

The Senate must first approve her appointment as the country’s envoy to the Netherlands.  

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