President-elect Donald Trump has added more diversity to his team by picking Indian-American Seema Verma and Asian-American Elaine Chao for key positions.
Chao, who is the wife of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and a former Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush, will become transport secretary, a post vital to Trump’s plans to redvelop infrastructure.
Health policy expert Seema Verma has been recruited from the private sector to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
This nomation makes her the second Indian-American to join Trump’s transition team, following South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who was named as the new United Nations ambassador.
Verma is currently the president, CEO and founder of SVC Inc., a national health policy consulting company and has worked on various high-profile Medicaid expansion proposals for Republican governors. Additionally, she has worked closely with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to help him design his Obamacare Medicaid expansion model, also known as Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0.
“I am pleased to nominate Seema Verma … She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy,” Trump said in a statement also announcing Congressman Tom Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, as health secretary. “Together, Chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans.”
In response, Verma expressed how honored she was by the nomination. “I look forward to helping him tackle our nation’s daunting healthcare problems in a responsible and sustainable way,” she added.
Chao served for eight years under the George W. Bush administration, the longest tenure in the Labor Secretary position since World War II. She was also the first Asian American woman to serve in a president’s cabinet. As the Secretary of Labor, her job was to protect the nation’s workforce, including addressing issues related to retirement and wages.
As the new head of the Transportation Department, Chao’s main role will be to help Trump get an infrastructure spending bill passed through Congress. The President-elect has previously expressed his desire to spend $1 trillion on revitalizing the nation’s roads, bridges, ports and other public transit systems.
With Tuesday’s appointments, Donald Trump continues to diversify his team with women from different backgrounds.
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