Indian-American named new White House LGBT liasion

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Washington, Nov 11: Indian-American Aditi Hardikar has been appointed to a key White House position to liaison with the LGBT as well as the Asian American and Pacific Islanders communities, an official said. Hardikar, who till recently was director of the LGBT Leadership Council at Democratic National Committee, replaces another Indian-American Gautam Raghavan at the White House, who has now joined the Gill Foundation.

According to a White House official, Hardikar yesterday started as the new Associate Director of Public Engagement in the Office of Public Engagement. "In her role, she is the White House's primary liaison to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community," the official said, yesterday.

Prior to joining the White House, she served as Director of the LGBT Leadership Council and Director of the AAPI Leadership Council for the Democratic National Committee, where she raised resources and mobilised community leaders around democratic issues. She also served as the LGBT Finance Director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2013, and the Deputy Director of LGBT Voter Outreach and LGBT Finance for the 2012 Obama-Biden President Campaign.

Aditi planned events and organised progressive young Americans for the Campus Progress team at the Center for American Progress in Washington. She also served as a White House intern in the Office of Public Engagement, where she worked on LGBT issues. A graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, she earned her BA in Economics and Political Science. Raghavan welcomed the appointment of Hardikar to the White House.

"Aditi has served President Obama for many years — including on his 2012 campaign and at the DNC — with distinction, integrity, and grace," he was quoted as saying by Washington Blade. "She will bring fresh energy and perspective to the position and its portfolio. I also think it's worth noting that she will be the first woman of colour to serve as the White House LGBT Liaison — reflecting the talent and diversity of the LGBT movement as well as this President's Administration," he said. Human Rights Campaign also welcomed her appointment.

"Aditi Hardikar has already been a tremendous advocate for our community in her work with the Democratic National Committee," Stephen Peters, its spokesperson said. "We are thrilled she will be joining the White House team and look forward to working with her on important issues in our ongoing fight for full equality," Peters said.

PTI

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