Indian origin Americans roped in Obama campaign team

3 well-known Indian-origin Americans were on Wednesday appointed to the 35-member national co-chairs of the Obama Campaign.

Updated: Mar 22, 2012, 00:29 AM IST

Washington: Three well-known Indian-origin Americans, actor Kalpen Modi, California Attorney General, Kamla Harris and Sai Iyer, who served as a White House intern in 2011, were on Wednesday appointed to the 35-member national
co-chairs of the Obama Campaign.

In all the Obama Campaign released a list of 35 campaign
co-chairs who will act as key surrogates and ambassadors in
the run up to the November presidential elections in which
incumbent Barack Obama is seeking re-election.

"The president`s national co-chairs will be tremendous
assets on the ground as we build the biggest grassroots
campaign in history," Obama`s campaign manager, Jim Messina
said in a statement.

"They each share the President`s vision for a future where
every American can have a fair shot at success, where hard
work pays off and responsibility is rewarded," Messina said.

An eminent Hollywood actor, Kalpen Modi is the former
White House Associate Director for the Office of Public

Kamala Harris is the powerful Attorney General of
California and Sai Iyer is a Student at the Virginia
Commonwealth University and OFA (Obama For America) volunteer
leader from Virginia.

Some of the eminent co-chairs include former Republican
senator Lincoln Chafee (now an independent serving as Rhode
Island governor), former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold,
former White House chiefs of staff Rahm Emanuel and Bill
Daley, Caroline Kennedy, business executive Penny Pritzker,
Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese and actress Eva
Longoria, among others.

"As a longtime supporter of Barack Obama, I am honoured to
serve as a National Co-Chair for Obama for America," Harris

"Since taking office, the President has worked tirelessly
to provide relief for struggling middle-class families and to
lay a foundation for a strong economy that`s built to last,"
she said.

"The President`s leadership and vision for the future will
continue to move the country forward, rather than taking us
back to the failed policies of the past," Harris added.

California`s 32nd Attorney General, Harris is the first
woman, African-American and also the first South Asian to hold
the office in the history of California.

Harris previously served two terms as District Attorney in
San Francisco.

Iyer is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University in
Richmond, Virginia, studying International Studies, Religious
Studies, and Mass Communications.

In 2008, he served as an Organising Fellow with Obama for
America in Richmond and in 2011 served as a White House Intern
in the Department of Management and Administration.

Next year, Iyer will be an English teacher in Detroit,
Michigan with Teach for America.

"He is deeply passionate about public service and aspires
to have a career where he can help make upward mobility a
reality for all Americans," the Obama Campaign said.

The former Associate Director of the White House Office of
Public Engagement, having served in the Obama Administration
from 2009 to 2011, Modi has been a well-recognised actor and
producer in television and film since the late 1990s, and has
been an Adjunct Lecturer in Sociology, Film, and Asian
American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

During the 2008 campaign, Modi campaigned in 26 states for
Barack Obama and served on the National Arts Policy Committee.

As part of his duties at the White House, Modi was the
President`s Liaison to Young Americans, working on issues
ranging from youth entrepreneurship & employment, to education
and DADT repeal.

In his duties as Liaison to Asian American & Pacific
Islander communities, he worked on creating the White House
Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI).
He also worked on arts outreach, focusing on cultural
diplomacy and arts education.