The US President’s Commission on White House Fellows has announced the appointment of 19 young emerging leaders as its class of White House Fellows for 2021-22.
This includes three Indian Americans: Dr Sunny Patel, Joy Basu, and Dr Aakash Shah.
According to the White House:
“The prestigious White House Fellowship program embeds professionals from diverse backgrounds for a year of working as a full-time, paid fellow for White House staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other senior government officials.”
The President’s Commission on White House Fellows described it as the most diverse class in the history of the programme.
Selection into the program is based on a record of professional accomplishment, evidence of leadership skills, the potential for further growth, and a commitment to service.
Placed at the Department of Homeland Security, Dr Sunny Patel is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and public health physician.
He has an MD from the Mayo Clinic, an MPH from Harvard, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and physiology, respectively, from UCLA with college and departmental honors.
Dr. Patel has recently completed his fellowship at NYU and volunteered as a palliative care physician at Bellevue Hospital and his adult psychiatry residency at Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School.
He also launched a comprehensive mental health response for thousands of frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and spearheaded health interventions for vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad, including in India, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic.
Dr. Patel has served as a resident tutor in medicine at Adams House of Harvard College and his research has been published in numerous journals and informed policy initiatives, including work presented at the United Nations General Assembly.
Joy Basu from San Francisco has been placed at the White House Gender Policy Council.
Joy earned her BA in Public Policy and Economics from Duke University and JD and MBA from Stanford University with a certificate in public management and social innovation.
While at Stanford, she served as co-president of the Women of Stanford Law, as an Arbuckle Fellow, and as a leader of the Afghanistan Legal Education Project.
Earlier, she served as a senior adviser to innovative businesses seeking authentic and impact-integrated growth. She was also the first chief of staff at TPG Growth.
She has served as The Rise Fund’s global sector lead for food and agriculture; a consultant at McKinsey & Company; and a project manager to the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture.
She currently serves as a trustee for the Heifer International Foundation and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. Aakash Shah has been placed at the Department of Health and Human Services.
He is a practicing emergency room doctor at Hackensack Meridian Health and has helped treat some of the earliest confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic in the US.
Dr. Shah also serves as the Director of Addiction Medicine and the Medical Director of Project HEAL at Jersey Shore University Medical Center as well as the Medical Director of New Jersey Reentry Corp.
He previously served as the Founder and Executive Director of Be Jersey Strong and as an adviser to several locals, state, and federal campaigns and policymakers.
The prestigious White House Fellowship program was created by President Lyndon B. in 1964, to give the Fellows first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal Government.