Two Indian Americans get key positions at AmeriCorps

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(L-R) Sri Preston Kulkarni, Sonali Nijhawan (Image Source: ballotpedia.org and edredesign.org)

Sonali Nijhawan was appointed as the Director of AmeriCorps State and National, and Sri Preston Kulkarni was named the Chief of External Affairs.

The Biden administration announced two Indian American public service experts to key positions at the federal agency for volunteering and service AmeriCorps. Sonali Nijhawan was appointed as the Director of AmeriCorps State and National, and Sri Preston Kulkarni was named the Chief of External Affairs.

Nijhawan developed and served as the Executive Director of Stockton Service Corps, which is a  $12 million initiative to address local needs through AmeriCorps. She has devoted her career to growing national services and developing leaders. Nijhawan also has vast experience in education. She went on to help found City Year Sacramento and launch the organization’s 22nd site with 50 new AmeriCorps members. 

Nijhawan also was the California Director of Education Pioneers. In her role, she recruited, placed, and supported managers in urban school systems and non-profit educational organizations, urging people to challenge the status quo of our public education system. 

According to a statement by AmeriCorps, Kulkarni has an extensive and variety of experience in service and public affairs to AmeriCorps. He served as a foreign service officer with the State Department for 14 years where he specialized in public diplomacy, worked in public affairs and international information programs. During his tenure, he completed tours in Iraq. Israel, Taiwan, Russia, Jamaica, and Washington. 

Previously, Kulkarni has lost his race for the Texas District 22 seat in the US House of Representatives to former Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls in November as the Democratic nominee in a deeply Republican district.

AmeriCorps said that in their roles, these leaders will use service to fulfill the administration’s agenda, based on the four most urgent challenges of the time: coronavirus, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. 

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