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Two more Indian Americans to join Obama team

US President Barack Obama has announced that an Indian American, Aneesh Chopra, will join his administration as Chief Technology Officer.

Separately, the White House announced that Rajiv Shah will serve as Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, United States Department of Agriculture.

Mr Obama used his weekly radio address to announce the appointment of Chopra, currently Virginia's Secretary of Technology, and that of Jeffrey Zients, a CEO, management consultant and entrepreneur, as Chief Performance Officer.

Chopra has previously worked as Managing Director with the Advisory Board Company, leading the firm's Financial Leadership Council and the Working Council for Health Plan Executives.

Shah is the Director of Agricultural Development in the Global Development Programme for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he manages its Agricultural Development programme – including grant-making portfolios in science and technology, farmer productivity, market access, and policy and statistics – with the goal of helping the world’s poor lead healthy and productive lives.

Shah joined the Foundation in 2001 and previously served as the Foundation's Director of Strategic Opportunities and Deputy Director of Policy and Finance for Global Health. In these roles, he helped develop and launch the Foundation's Global Development Programme and the International Finance Facility for Immunization – an effort that raised more than $5 billion for child immunization and hopes to save more than five million lives around the world.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Shah was the health care policy advisor on the Gore 2000 presidential campaign and a member of Governor Ed Rendell's transition committee on health. Shah is the co-founder of Health Systems Analytics and Project IMPACT for South Asian Americans.

In addition, he has served as a policy aide in the British Parliament and worked at the World Health Organization.

Currently, Shah serves on the boards of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the Seattle Public Library, and the Seattle Community College District. Shah earned his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Master of Science in health economics at the Wharton School of Business.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the London School of Economics and has published articles on health policy and global development. In 2007, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

According to sources, Chopra's appointment does not need confirmation by the US Senate, but Shah's does, though it is exected to be a formality, given his record so far.

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