Because of a government that saw my mother’s dignity, and gave her a chance,” Tanden said. After Barack Obama was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate, Tanden was one of the first, and also one of the few former-Clinton campaign staffers to join his team. She was domestic policy director for his successful general election campaign. Neera Tanden is an American political consultant and government official who has been a senior advisor and staff secretary to President Joe Biden since 2021.

And that means that I have to do more work than maybe others have had to communicate my leadership and what I bring to the table,” Tanden explained. Tanden says she has frequently been described as “aggressive,” a term that she said she feels assigned to her because of the current racial environment. The collision of racial and gender stereotypes have, in part, likely skewed the image some have of her conduct in professional environments, she said. Sanders confronted her over what he calls “vicious” attacks during the hearing, for which Tanden has apologized. Meanwhile, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., accused her of calling Sanders “everything but an ‘ignorant slut.'” The nominee responded, indicating that she regretted her past comments. “People’s perceptions of leadership and who leaders are has not been, to this moment, an Asian American woman,” Tanden told NBC Asian America.

Before taking the top post at the White House, Tanden was tasked as chief executive of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in the country. Speaking during the introduction of members of Biden’s newly-formed economic team, 50-year-old Tanden said, “Like the Vice President-elect’s mother, Shyamala, my mother, Maya, was born in India. Like so many millions, across every generation, she came to America to pursue a better life. I was raised in a suburb of Boston – a middle-class kid,” ANI quoted.

Group vice president for government and community relations, left, Alan Mulally, chief executive officer of Ford Motor… In a number of instances throughout her career, Tanden has endured backlash across the aisle, much of which has been reignited alongside her nomination. Tanden, who’s awaiting the vote that would decide her confirmation, faced Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who helms the budget committee. The nominee was vocal about her opposition to Sanders, who faced off against her former boss Clinton, during the 2016 election and wasn’t shy about slamming his leftist supporters who criticized her for her more centrist views. Tanden, who’s been described as Biden’s most polarizing nomination, could make history as the first woman of color to lead the agency.

NPR described her as “Biden’s most controversial Cabinet pick”. Tanden served in the Obama administration as senior adviser to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services. She helped to draft the administration’s health care legislation, including work specific to its proposed, but later withdrawn, public option. She also negotiated with Congress and stakeholders on several provisions of the bill. She has been described as one of the “key architects” of the Affordable Care Act.

Tanden has held her share of leadership positions on both campaigns and as president of the Center for American Progress. In her professional life, she said she’s taken cues from observing the experiences of her immigrant mother, the society for collegiate leadership and achievement, who raised two children on her own in a new country. The family, who settled in a small town in Massachusetts, stuck out both because of their color and class, Tanden said. She recalled being one of the only families at the store, buying their groceries with food stamps. Separately, Biden named a seven-women, all-female White House press team that will be led by Kate Bedingfield, his campaign communications director who will serve as the White House communications director.

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