Washington: US First Lady Michelle Obama has invited a prominent Indian-American doctor, who is playing a key role in fighting the dreaded Ebola disease in West Africa, for Wednesday's State of the Union Address.
Dr Pranav Shetty from the International Medical Corps is the only Indian-American to be invited by the First Lady to her box in the US Congress when President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union Address.
The invitation to Shetty comes days ahead of Obama's visit to India to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade, a first for a US President.
Shetty is the Global Emergency Health Coordinator for International Medical Corps, a critical partner in the US-supported effort to bring the Ebola epidemic under control in West Africa.
In August 2014, Shetty deployed to Liberia to establish and oversee two Ebola treatment units, teams of rapid responders that deploy to Ebola hot spots across the country, and a training center for local and international health care workers now working on the frontlines of the Ebola response effort, the White House said.
Shetty arrived back in the US in late December and will return to West Africa later this week to help establish International Medical Corps' first Ebola treatment center in Guinea.
Prior to the Ebola crisis, he has responded to emergencies in Haiti, Libya, South Sudan, Jordan, Iraq, and the Philippines.
Shetty is a US-trained emergency medicine physician with a Masters of Public Health and has worked for International Medical Corps since 2011.
He is based in Washington, DC, and serves as the initial health technical lead for International Medical Corps' major emergency response operations worldwide.
In all nearly two dozen people from different walks of life have been invited to the First Lady's box.
Prominent among them include USIAD Contractor Alan Gross and his wife Judy. Alan Gross was recently released by Cuba. Others include astronaut Scott Kelly.