Experts on Indo-USA ties told ET that while Fazili’s incoming position may not allow her any role in US foreign policy, her actions need to be monitored

New Delhi: Kashmiri origin Indian-American Sameera Fazili, who is the newly appointed Deputy Director of the National Economic Council of the Biden administration, has a track record of playing a role in anti-India protests in USA over the Kashmir issue.

Fazili played a key role in one of the protests within four days of abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, ET has learnt. She supports ‘Stand with Kashmir’ (SWK) a Kashmiri diaspora-led international solidarity movement. In August 2019, following the abrogation of Article 370, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) introduced her as a member of SWK.

“We urge people of conscience to come out and show support and solidarity for the people of Kashmir as authoritarianism and Islamophobia rise around the world, from India to the United States to Europe. Come show your support for human rights, international law, and democracy,” Fazili had said then.

Experts on Indo-USA ties told ET that while Fazili’s incoming position may not allow her any role in US foreign policy, her actions need to be monitored. In the Obama-Biden administration, Fazili served as a senior policy advisor on the White House’s National Economic Council and as a senior advisor at the US Treasury Department in both Domestic Finance and International Affairs. Prior to that, she was a clinical lecturer of law at Yale Law School. Originally from Buffalo, Fazili is a graduate of Yale Law School and Harvard College.

She also worked at ShoreBank, US first CDFI (community development financial institution) bank. Meanwhile, Biden has inducted a second Pakistani American, Salman Ahmed, into his foreign policy team. Ahmed, who served as head of strategic planning in the Obama National Security Council, is joining the US State Department as director policy planning.

Last month Biden announced that another Pakistani American, Ali Zaidi, will join his team as Deputy National Climate Adviser. Ahmed was chief of staff of the US Mission to the United Nations and senior policy adviser to the US Permanent Representative to the UN.

Before joining the Department of State in 2009, Ahmed served as a visiting professor and research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and worked for almost fifteen years at the United Nations, serving also as chief of staff for the Head of UN Peacekeeping Operations. Zaidi will work directly under former Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been appointed Biden’s special envoy for climate. Zaidi played a key role in drafting and implementing the Obama administration’s climate action plan and helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement.