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Who is Radha Iyengar Plumb, the Indian-American security specialist nominated by Biden for a high Pentagon position?

Radha Iyengar Plumb, a competent policy researcher with strong experience in trust and safety issues, is the latest Indian American to be nominated for critical roles in the Biden administration. Vice President Kamala Harris, 21st Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy, and even President Biden’s speechwriter Vinay Reddy are among those on the list.

Radha Iyengar Plumb, a security expert, has been nominated by US President Joe Biden for the position of Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. Radha Iyengar Plumb is the latest Indian-American to be nominated for a significant post as a result of her nomination.

In March 2021, Biden announced in a virtual conversation that he has nominated 55 Indian-Americans to key top posts in his cabinet in less than 50 days. “The country is being taken over by Americans of Indian ancestry. My Vice President (Kamala Harris), Swati Mohan, and my speechwriter, Vinay Reddy, “According to reports, he stated that Indian-Americans were taking over the country.

Plumb is the Deputy Secretary of Defense’s Chief of Staff, and before that, she was the Director of Research and Insights for Trust and Safety at Google, where she led cross-functional teams on business analytics, data science, and technical research.

Plumb began working as the Chief Of Staff to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H Hicks in February 2021 after a year at Google. Plumb is a talented policy researcher with vast experience in trust and safety issues. She had a key role in reducing sexual assaults, preventing suicide, formulating budgets and policies linked to nuclear and energy infrastructure security and resilience, and regulating counterterrorism actions in the Middle East and North Africa throughout this time in government service. She also played a key role in analysing stabilisation operations in Afghanistan, where she served as a civilian undertaking measurement and evaluation work to support the Commander, ISAF’s Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team.

In 2002, Radha Iyengar Plumb received her Bachelor of Science [BS] in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in 2006, she received her Master of Science [MS] and then a PhD in Economics from Princeton University. She completed her postdoctoral studies at Harvard before joining the London School of Economics as an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in 2011.

She has worked for the US Department of Defense and the Department of Energy (DOE) in various capacities in the past. She spent time at Facebook as the Global Head of Policy Analysis, concentrating on high-risk, high-harm safety and key international security concerns, among her many duties.

Plumb worked as a senior economist at the RAND Corporation before moving to Silicon Valley, where she focused on enhancing the measurement and evaluation of preparedness and security activities throughout the Department of Defense.

She was the principal author on a number of important papers during her time there, including one analysing the consequences of open service for Transgender Service members and another reviewing security and suitability screening measures. She is a strong advocate for gender equality and violence prevention, and she is one of the writers of the RAND Corporation book ‘Availability of Family Violence Services for Military Service Members and Their Families,’ which was released in January 2020.

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