U.S. Senate Confirms Nisha Desai Biswal for South Asian Affairs Bureau

— By Domani Spero

On October 16, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Nisha Desai Biswal – to be Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs.

The WH released the following brief bio when President Obama announced his nomination on July 18, 2013:

Nisha Desai Biswal is Assistant Administrator for Asia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a position she has held since September 2010.  From 2005 to 2010, Ms. Biswal was the Majority Clerk for the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on the Committee on Appropriations in the U.S. House of Representatives.  From 2002 to 2005, she served as the Policy and Advocacy Director at InterAction.  Previously, she served on the professional staff of the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee from 1999 to 2002.  She served at USAID from 1995 to 1999 in a number of capacities including: Special Assistant to the Administrator, Chief of Staff in the Management Bureau, and in the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Office of Transition Initiatives.  Ms. Biswal worked at the American Red Cross from 1993 to 1995 in the Washington D.C. headquarters and as an overseas delegate in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.  She is also a member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China since March 2011. Ms. Biswal received a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (State/SCA) deals with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. relations with the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.  Ms. Biswal succeeds Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr. who was recently nominated to be ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia.