Nisha Desai Biswal, former Indian-American assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia has been appointed as the new president of US India Business Council (USIBC), an official announcement says. Biswal was the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, in which capacity she spearheaded the India and South Asia policy of the previous Obama Administration. She will join the US Chamber beginning October 23, USIBC said yesterday. She replaces Mukesh Aghi, who quit USIBC in July because of the differences he had over the working and imposing style of US Chambers of Commerce, which tried undue interfere in the independent working of the US India Business Council.
The entire board of USIBC too moved out of it and have now created US India Strategic and Partnership Forum. The Forum is headed by Aghi. Most recently, Biswal was a senior advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Group, where she helped expand the firm’s India and South Asia practice. “She is a driven, visionary leader who has a strong record of advancing United States business across the growth markets of Asia and throughout India. Under her strong leadership, we’re confident the US-India Business Council will play a critical role growing commercial partnership, investment, and innovation across the world’s oldest and largest democracies,” said Myron Brilliant, US Chamber executive vice president and head of International Affairs.
As Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs in the US Department of State from 2013 to 2017, Biswal oversaw the US-India strategic partnership during a period of unprecedented cooperation, including launching the US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. In recognition of her efforts, Biswal was awarded the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the President in January 2017. She previously served as Assistant Administrator for Asia at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Biswal also spent over ten years on Capitol Hill, serving as staff director on the State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives.
“As one of the most significant and fastest growing markets, India is an important economic partner for the United States. Likewise, Indian companies are investing in ever greater numbers here in the United States,” Biswal said. “I am proud to be part of an organisation which will play such a critical role in shaping US-India relations, and I am thrilled at the chance to help our companies deliver a brighter, more prosperous future for the citizens of the United States and India,” she said.