Washington: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has named the party`s top Indian-American fundraiser, Dr Akshay Desai, one of seven national co-chairs of his newly formed Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Romney committee.
Desai, chief exective officer of St. Petersburg, Florida-based Universal Health Care Group, Inc., is the only South Asian American among the seven co-chairs of the panel headed by former Labour Secretary Elaine L Chao.
A former appointee of president George W Bush to the White House Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, where he served from 2005-2008 and chaired the commission`s health committee, Desai was appointed in February to chair the Republican Party of Florida`s finance committee. He also serves on the national Republican finance committee.
Desai recently told India-West, an ethnic publication, that Romney "deeply understands the US-India partnership and the need to nurture that relationship." Romney "is very supportive of legal immigration," said Desai who has discussed with the Repub;ican nominee issues concerning physicians, hotel and motel owners and convenience store owners" in the Indian American community.
Desai founded Universal Health Care and American Managed Care, LLC, both in 2002. From 1999-2000, he was chief of staff and chairman of the board of trustees for Northside Hospital and Heart Clinic and St Petersburg General Hospital in St. Petersburg.
From 1989-2000, Desai was president of American Family and Geriatrics Care in Pennsylvania. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honour in 2007.
Desai has a medical degree from India and a master`s in public health administrative medicine from George Washington University. He and his wife, Seema, have three children.