New York, NY
New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams has published the names of the members of his various mayoral transition committees. It’s a big list of people working on 20 different committees, including education, economic and workforce development and public safety & justice.
In a big indication that Indian-Americans will have major influence inside and outside of Adams’ City Hall, the number of prominent members of the community have been named to various committees and senior advisory positions. Here is a look at some of the most important persons named into the transition team and the roles they are expected to play:
Preeti Mattoo has been named into the Health committee of the transition team comprising an inspiring and diverse group who are all change makers with the shared mission to rebuild and fortify NYC. With her background in public health as well as an entrepreneur of her own wellness brand, Mattoo could develop and offer a program for an integrative approach to health in NYC and to find ways to give the city and all those who work so hard to make it tick access to holistic health and wellness. For her, the three top focus areas in the transition team would be: public health, wellness, and lifestyle.
As a member of the team, Mattoo hopes to see that one of the city’s core values will become health and wellness of mind, body, and spirit as the shift will have a ripple effect impacting many other areas such as public safety, education, food insecurity, environment and so much more. As Mayor-elect Adams has openly shared his compelling journey with chronic health issues that nearly left him blind but through a diet and lifestyle overhaul he turned his diagnosis around. His passion to educate, inform, and address the city’s health is inspired and directed by his own transformation and that will guide him and his team to a healthier and happier NYC.
Rhonda S. Binda
Rhonda S. Binda has been named into two important committees – Legal and Information Technology – of the transition team. Raised in Southeast Queens, Binda has a passion for social and environmental justice. In her youth, Rhonda successfully lobbied the New York City Council for New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG) to shut down Fresh Kills, the largest toxic site in the country. As an attorney, she represented and released wrongly detained clients before the US Immigration Court of Appeals after 9/11 pro bono and broke up internet and cable monopolies. In government, she served in both the Obama-Biden and Clinton-Gore Administrations as a US Diplomat and in the West Wing.
Binda has served her community as Chairwoman of South Asian American Voice, Vice President of the Guyanese Girls Rock Foundation High School Women’s Leadership Academy and on the boards for The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens, The New York Hall of Science and Positive Women United. Binda attended Queens public schools in District 29 and, because of her academic potential, was recruited for the prestigious Prep for Prep program, which provided her a path to scholarships to The Lawrencevill School, Duke University, Georgetown University and Oxford University.
Jenifer Rajkumar, a New York State Assembly Member, has been named as a Senior Advisor in the transition team. It is one of the most important appointments for the South Asian community. Rajkumar made history as the first South Asian-American woman ever to be elected to a state office in New York. Jenifer is a civil rights attorney and a former District Leader with a background working in government. She served as the State’s Director of Immigration Affairs and as Special Counsel from 2017 to 2019. She is on the board of Represent Women, on the Legal Advisory Council for Sanctuary for Families, and a member of a number of other organizations for social change. She also taught as a Professor at CUNY’s Lehman College.
As a civil rights lawyer, Jenifer stood up for the vulnerable and the disenfranchised throughout her career. In 2015 and 2016, she was selected to Super Lawyers’ New York-Metro Rising Stars List, a recognition given to no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in New York. Just before being elected to the State Assembly, Jenifer served as Director of Immigration Affairs & Special Counsel for New York State.
Sheetal Desai has been appointed to the transition team of Eric Adams in the Human Services Committee. The goal of the committee and team is both to work with the Mayor-Elect on strategic priorities to support human services and to ensure “Day 1 readiness” for agencies that drive these policy domains. With her profile and experience, Desai could contribute her expertise with the aging population and the services they are in dire need and to be inclusive of the growing South Asian population in the city. The Committee’s overarching vision is to compassionately deliver the services to the New Yorkers need in a more equitable, accessible, integrated and accountable way.
For Desai, the top focus areas are law and order, safety, healthcare and human services. She hopes to work for improving access to services by building a smarter and more just city, bringing the City to the community by giving all New Yorkers greater access to the services to which they are entitled; Improving academic outcomes for children in shelters; and childcare by finding recovery and resiliency-oriented solutions to child care challenges faced by families, while also supporting the longer-term goal of rolling out universal child care in NYC.
Priyanka Brahmbhatt has been named into the technology and IT committee of the transition team. Brahmbhatt is an entrepreneur and Executive Director and Board member at Panamax Inc, a Bankai Group’s Fintech and Telecom technology venture overseeing the operations of 500 people. She is also involved in multiple start-ups, consortium and community organizations that boost ideas and innovation practices.
Priyanka has been a part of the Forbes Council since 2018 in NYC. She was elected for Forbes 30 under 30 2020 and has already been nominated for 2021. She has served as a UNSDG program panelist and is currently a UN Youth delegate since 2019 to present advocating for climate change, women in tech, mental health awareness, and socio-economic empowerment of the marginalized
Hiren Chauhan has been named into the Technology and IT committee of the mayor-elect’s transition team. With over 25 years of experience, Hiren Chauhan is a noteworthy leader in the IT, management and business arenas, pioneering the rise of various technologies such as Cloud BigData and Fintech. A serial entrepreneur, angel investor, he has been a key member, co-founder and fundraiser in multiple successful startups. Hiren’s diverse background includes holding senior government offices and participating in outreach, working closely with the youth and new immigrants to familiarize them with advanced technologies. His acclaimed IT consulting firm, Cyber Consulting Inc., has a portfolio of blue-chip clients and has been at the forefront of IT’s evolution since 1998 with longstanding working relationships with the private and public sector. Hiren has been celebrated locally and internationally, with his most recent accolade being LIBN’s Diversity in Business Award 2020. Growing forward, he is committed to spearheading progress in effective technology-based solutions for businesses, public institutions and global communities.
Raghbir Singh Subhanpur
Raghbir Singh Subhanpur has been appointed in the Clergy committee of the transition team. Subhanpur is the owner of a construction business, a few stores and two restaurants and banquets halls. He has been involved in social, cultural and religious activities and events for more than 30 years. He is a former president of Baba Makhan Singh Lobana Sikh Center in Richmond Hill besides holding several posts in the organization. Subhanpur is the current member of the Queens Borough Community Affairs Division and director of the Punjabi weekly newspaper, Shane Punjab Newspaper.
Dr. Bindu Babu
Dr. Bindu Babu has been appointed in the Health committee. Dr Babu is the author of a highly-rated Amazon release, “My Soulmate, My Love, My Narcissist” where she breaks down what it means to be attached to a narcissist and how to recover from narcissistic abuse. In addition, Dr. Babu is a certified Quantum Based Transformational Life Coach, Certified Past Life Regression Healer, Reiki Master, Forbes Business Council 2020 & 2021, New York Power Women in Business Award Winner 2019, Women Empowerment Principles Signatory and Global Goodwill Ambassador to the United States Circle of Wise Women.