Knowing Haridwar-Born Kashmiri Pandit as US Ambassador

by Dec 7, 2022Diaspora0 comments

Few years ago, it would have been difficult to believe that a Kashmiri girl would become an ambassador of the United States to an important European country. But that is exactly what has happened.

One and half months ago, 50 year old Shefali Razdan Duggal was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands. Her efforts during the electoral campaign of President Joe Biden have been rightly rewarded.

This Indian-American is a San Francisco Committee member of Human Rights Watch, serves on the Leadership and Character Council at Wake Forest University, and is on the National Advisory Board of Inside Washington at Miami University of Ohio. Most recently, Razdan Duggal served on the National Finance Committee of Joe Biden for President 2020 and was a National Co-Chair of Women for Biden. She has also served as a Deputy National Finance Chair at the Democratic National Committee.

Previously, Razdan Duggal served on the National Board of Directors for Emily’s List 2014-2020. She was a Presidential Appointee to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council 2014-2018 and continues to serve as a Western Region Advisor to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has held a variety of positions in several national-level political campaigns.

A Kashmiri born in Haridwar, India, Razdan Duggal moved to the United States at a very young age and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a B.S. in Mass Communication, with a minor in Political Science, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an M.A. in Media Ecology from New York University.

Razdan Duggal believes in authenticity, kindness, and service. She is married with two children.

“I was born in India, but I was made in the United States,” Razdan Duggal had told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during her confirmation hearing in July.

“I have full confidence that kindness, empathy, honesty and sweat equity mean something in our country. While my story is not unique, it is one that represents the infinite possibilities of the American spirit and the American dream,” Razdan Duggal had said.

During her confirmation hearing testimony Razdan Duggal had also said that as an immigrant, she represents the diverse face of the United States and the generations of people throughout its history who found an opportunity in the US.

“I was raised by a single mom in Cincinnati who worked two minimum wage jobs to support us. My father left us when I was very young and that profoundly and permanently affected the direction of my life,” she told the lawmakers.

Incidentally, Duggal began her career in politics when she volunteered for the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Duggal later volunteered for Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Dianne Feinstein.

In fact, she worked at her first presidential campaign in 2000 where she was a volunteer. Following the 2000 election, she worked at the political strategy firm Staton Hughes as a Political Analyst. Duggal became a graduate of Emerge America, the political leadership training program for Democratic women.

Duggal worked for the Barack Obama 2012 presidential campaign as part of the National Finance Committee.

Duggal is the recipient of numerous civic awards, including being recognised with the Western Regional Leadership Award by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, as a Community Hero by the California State Assembly, and as one of the Most Powerful Women in California by the National Diversity Council.

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