WASHINGTON: Several Indian Americans were felicitated by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at an event here to mark the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
Biden while recollecting his trip to India last year acknowledged the contribution of the AAPI community in all spheres of the U.S.
"The combination of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have done nothing, nothing but succeed, generation after generation. 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.
At the glittering event, the newest appointees to the President's Advisory Commission on AAPIs were ceremonially sworn in.
Sri Srinivasan, the United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, swore in 14 new and two returning Commissioners who will serve as the eyes and ears of the AAPI community for the Obama Administration.The Commissioners are Dr Tung Nguyen (incoming Chair), Dr Mark Ann Young Okada (incoming Vice Chair), Dr N Nina Ahmad, Michael Byun, Ravi Chaudhary, Lian Cheun, Billy Dec, Bill Imada, Kathy Ko Chin, Daphne Kwok, Dee Jay Mailer, Diane Narasaki, Shekar Narasimhan, Maulik Pancholy, Linda X Phan, and Lorna May Ho Randlett.
While Lt Col Chaudhary is a U.S. Air Force officer; Shekar Narasimhan is an eminent community leader; Pancholy is a popular film and television actor. Dr N Nina Ahmad is of Bangladeshi origin.
The members will advise the President on innovative ways to engage AAPIs across the country and to improve their health, education, environment, and well-being.
"We are honoured to have Vice President Biden speak to the AAPI community at this historic moment in time," said the Initiative's Executive Director Kiran Ahuja.
"AAPIs are fast on the rise, and 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.