Three Indian-Americans along with 11 others have been sworn in as members of a presidential commission charged with working to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
President's Advisory Commission on AAPIs will advise President Barack on innovative ways to engage AAPIs across the country and to improve their health, education, environment, and well-being.
Democratic Party activist and fundraiser Shekar Narasimhan, Lt Col Ravi Chaudhary and actor Maulik Pancholy and 11 other new commissioners were sworn in by Sri Srinivasan, Chandigarh born US circuit court judge for Washington, Monday.
Narasimhan is co-founder of the Emergent Institute (formerly known as the Indian Institute for Sustainable Enterprise) in Bangalore, a nonprofit institution training entrepreneurs to build social ventures.
Pancholy, a film, television, and stage actor, is the voice of Sanjay, the title character in the Nickelodeon animated series Sanjay & Craig, as well as the voice of Baljeet in the Disney animated series Phineas and Ferb.
Chaudhary is an Air Force officer, currently serving as executive officer to the commander, Air Force District of Washington, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
The commissioners, who according to the White House will serve as the eyes and ears of the AAPI community for the Obama Administration, were sworn in at at an event attended by US Vice President Joe Biden here to mark the AAPI Heritage Month.
Recollecting his trip to India last year, Biden acknowledged the contribution of the AAPI community in all spheres of US life.
"The combination of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have done nothing, nothing but succeed, generation after generation," he said.
"Think of all of the businesses that have been built, from the corner stores to Silicon Valley giants like Yahoo. You have served our nation overseas," Biden said.
The commission's Indian American executive director Kiran Ahuja said: "AAPIs are fast on the rise."
"It's important to both recognise the community's great diversity and the importance of government and community working together to address the unique challenges we face," she added.
This year, the theme for AAPI Heritage Month is "I Am Beyond".
The phrase captures the aspirations of the American spirit and how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America.
The event will continue throughout May, highlighting the community's many contributions to arts, sciences, government, military, commerce, and education.