US - INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW

7 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JULY-SEPTEMBER 2018 where not only did all five Indian- American lawmakers from Congress showed up but a host of former, current, and potential future leaders from both parties met. In terms of man/woman-hours of political and policy experience, this group is significantly different from previous ones, with policy- wonks and people schooled in the science of winning campaigns. Impact is led by President Obama's liaison for the Pentagon, Gautam Raghavan. A class of "political professionals" has emerged, and it is about time, say those interviewed. The Impact Project, a 501 C3 organization, is the research, edu- cation, and training arm. The work of Impact as a whole, is to provide education and training as well as to craft a winning message, build a campaign team, to build the backbone for races. And their focus is on U.S. issues - not for- eign policy or bilateral relations with India as such, organizers clarified. Resting on a not insignificant history of political awareness rais- ing, Impact, and the host of exist- ing organizations, are behind the growing effort to catapult Indian Americans to the "next level" of political engagement - among them, to name just a few -- older organizations like WLP, IALI, South Asian Americans Leading Together; and the more recent ones - AAPIVictory Fund, NJLead, South Asian Registration Initiative, SARI; and even some in the making like Aseem Chipalkatti's fledgling campaign consultancy effort in Seattle This Jan. 23, WLP tweeted, "Wow - we are overwhelmed by the record applications this year to #WLP2018 - there is so much energy in the community to get involved. We wish we had the abil- ity to take more scholars. The pool is so tremendously talented this year. The future is bright for our community #Leaders As the primaries proceed through the year, candidates like Maryland State Assembly mem- ber Aruna Miller, want Democrats to change -- In Maryland, Aruna Miller, a State House representa- tive is making a bid for Congress. She tweeted June 21 - "The race is an opportunity for Democrats to elect a woman to Maryland’s all- male congressional delegation." #MD6 #ArunaforMD6," she tweet- ed. Impact, which launched its two branches Jan. 17, describes its leadership as made up of Indian- American philanthropists, commu- nity leaders, and political opera- Aakash Patel, a Republican running for Hillsborough County Commission in Florida; Democrat Kesha Ram, former member of the Vermont State House; and Harry Arora, Republican candidate from Connecticut's 4th Congressional District, at the June Impact Fund summit inWashington, D.C. Photo: Facebook The Impact Project Board of Directors includes Priya Dayananda, managing director of Federal Government Affairs for KPMG LLP, Vinai Thummalapally, former U.S. Ambassador to Belize and for- mer executive director of SelectUSA, and Mini Timmaraju, executive director of External Affairs at Comcast and former National Women’s Vote Director for Hillary for America. The Impact Fund Board of Directors includes Ravi Akhoury, former chairman and CEO of MacKay Shields LLC, and Raghu Devaguptapu, partner at Left Hook Strategies and former political director for the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC). Vikas Raj, managing director of Accion Venture Lab, will serve as a non-voting observer on both boards.)

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NTg0NTU=