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Another Asian American Joins Trump White House Team

Raj Shah
Raj Shah

By Ed Diokno

President-elect Donald Trump added another Asian American to his staff announcing on Wednesday that he would be appointing Raj Shah to be his deputy director of communications and research director.

The selection of Shah, who currently is research director at the Republican National Committee, was celebrated by the Indian Financial Express, which wrote:

“Shah, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Gujarat, has been appointed as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communication Director and Research Director, as per an announcement made by the Presidential Transition Team.

“Shah, who is in his early 30s, is currently head of Opposition Research in the Republican National Committee. In this position, he led a team of experts to carry out research against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate. Shah was behind all the anti-Clinton campaign during the presidential elections. […]

“A second-generation Indian American, Shah’s parents are from Mumbai having origins from Gujarat. First his father came to the US for studies in 1970s then moved back to India. But after marriage, his father and mother moved back to the U.S. in late 70s. They lived in Chicago and then moved to Connecticut, where he was born and raised.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that Shah will be among the “key leaders in helping to implement the President-elect’s agenda and bring real change to Washington.”

Other prominent AAPIs who have joined Trump’s team of advisors who still awaiting Senate confirmation include Elaine Chao, nominated for Secretary of Labor and Nikki Haley, who would serve as UN Ambassador.

Shah most recently served as Co-Founding Partner and Managing Director of America Rising LLC, where he developed the organization’s Hillary Clinton opposition research book. He previously served as a Deputy Research Director at the RNC during the 2012 presidential election cycle.

A graduate of Cornell, he has also worked on Senate and presidential campaigns and served in the Office of Presidential Personnel during the administration of President George W. Bush.


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