Five Indian Americans in 2017 Politico 50 List

The list is led by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, followed by Seema Verma, Administrator, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


Five Indian-Americans, including four women, have found a place in the 2017 Politico 50 list announced by Politico Magazine, a prominent U.S. political site.

Led by the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, the list also comprises of Seema Verma, Administrator, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, lawyer Neal Katyal, economist Aparna Mathur and lawyer Neomi Rao. These Indian Americans have been included in the list for their significance in US politics.

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon tops the list, which is bookended by Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives in the 50th spot.

Nikki Haley: Trump’s foreign policy good cop

Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina Governor and the reigning US ambassador to the UN is ranked 22 on the list. The magazine dubs Haley as “Trump’s foreign policy good cop,” and added that the 45-year-old former South Carolina governor has emerged as the security blanket that Republicans and even some Democrats—not to mention America’s allies—can cling to when trying to grasp where the Trump administration stands on global affairs.

“Haley is not only pro-America, pro-Israel and tough on terrorism—she’s also wary of Russia and attuned to human rights concerns,” writes Politico.

It added that the White House relies heavily on Haley, more than the Rex Tillerson, the press-averse Secretary of the State for its public face.

“Haley’s commitment to both her boss in the White House and a traditional foreign policy can sometimes induce cognitive dissonance. She is focused on human rights, sounding off on everything from Venezuela to South Sudan, but dismisses suggestions that Trump – who seems indifferent to the topic – doesn’t care,” Politico Magazine said in its report.

Nikki Haley was born in South Carolina on January 20, 1972, to an Indian American Sikh family. She was named Nimrata Randhawa after birth, and her parents, Ajit Singh Randhawa and Raj Kaur Randhawa, are immigrants from Punjab.

Seema Verma: The Gop’s Medicaid Rollback Engineer

Seema Verma, the founder, and CEO of SVC Inc., currently serves as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and is ranked 26th. During her tenure, Verma has made innumerable trips to Capitol Hills with Vice President Mike Pence, to convince top American lawmakers on the necessity to fix the current health care system by overriding Obamacare and replacing it with a more efficient health care bill.

“To Verma, Medicaid is a program meant to be preserved for society’s most vulnerable, and if less needy populations are getting coverage, they need to pay more to have it,” Politico Magazine wrote. “Now, Verma leads a 6,500-person federal bureaucracy that oversees not just Obamacare but Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for the poor. Under Verma’s oversight, Medicaid could look quite different, whether or not Obamacare remains the law of the land.”

Aparna Mathur: Making the Conservative Case for Family Leave

Aparna Mathur, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, is ranked 32 in the list for her contributions in making the conservative case for family leave.

“Mathur argues that a paid family leave policy, which enjoys wide public support, “is not asking for the moon — it would boost the economy by helping women stay in the workforce and can be cost-effective,” writes Politico.

Neal Katyal: The Travel Ban’s Legal Nemesis

The reversal of Pres. Donald Trump’s most controversial decision, the so called Muslim ban, was ordered by the U.S. court in Hawaii, and the legal mastermind behind that seemingly unlikely victory is Neal Katyal. He was previously the principal deputy solicitor general in the Barack Obama administration. He is ranked 40th in the list.

“Katyal, the 47-year-old Chicago-born son of Indian immigrants, has drawn particular attention for arguing that Trump’s order runs afoul of immigration laws on the books that determine whom the president can exclude from the country and how visas are issued,”, Politico wrote.

Neomi Rao: Washington’s New Regulatory Czar

Neomi Rao, the director office of Information and regulatory affairs, ranks 42nd on the list.

“As head of OIRA, Rao will scrutinize all significant regulations the Trump administration proposes, ensuring that agencies stick to the White House’s agenda. She is also responsible for implementing Trump’s executive orders directing agencies to repeal two regulations for each significant one they issue, and to draw up plans for regulatory reform,” Politico observed.

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