Who is Veena Reddy, The First Indian American Head of USAID

6 Aug, 2021 09:30 IST|Sakshi Post

Veena Reddy is the first Indian-American woman to lead USAID in India.

Ambassador Atul Keshap, the interim chief of the US embassy in India, expressed "pride and admiration" for another Indian American being picked to oversee a vital mission component in India, saying it reflected "Indian Americans' accomplishments in all walks of life in America."

Amaravati: On Thursday, Veena Reddy, an Indian-American woman, took over as the Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, congratulated Veena Reddy on her achievement. As the first diplomat of Indian ancestry in America, he claimed he was proud of her accomplishments. CM Jagan tweeted to this effect.


On Thursday, Reddy, who will oversee USAID's activities in India and Bhutan, said she would seek to enhance the agency's seven-decade engagement with the Indian people and government.


Ambassador Atul Keshap, the interim chief of the US embassy in India, expressed "pride and admiration" for another Indian American being picked to oversee a vital mission component in India, saying it reflected "Indian Americans' accomplishments in all walks of life in America."


Reddy has a long history of working in development and diplomacy. She is the first Indian American to manage USAID in India and Bhutan, having been born in Andhra Pradesh.


She was the mission director of USAID in Cambodia and the deputy mission director in Haiti during her time as a US Foreign Service officer. She previously worked as an assistant general counsel in Washington, covering legal concerns for USAID's Asia and the Middle East programmes.


Since August 2017, she has served as the Director of the Cambodia Mission. During the Haiti earthquake, she excelled as a supervisor of defence-development initiatives.


Reddy worked as a corporate attorney in New York, London, and Los Angeles before entering the government. She has a law degree from Columbia University School of Law, as well as an MA and a BA from the University of Chicago. Veena is a member of the California Bar Association in New York.


"For the past seven decades, USAID has partnered with the people and government of India to build a peaceful and prosperous society. During that time, our partnership has evolved, and I look forward to further strengthening our relationship," Reddy said.


"The challenges faced by all during the Covid-19 pandemic have taken an enormous human and economic toll on India and beyond. I am confident that, with the strength and warmth of the US-India partnership, we will continue to move forward on the road to prosperity."


USAID assists India in meeting its development goals by promoting renewable energy and environmental reform, assisting in the fight against climate change, boosting healthcare, and supporting the Covid-19 response.

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