Proficient Policy Expert: Neera Tanden
Neera Tanden was the Biden administration’s initial choice for the position of head of the Office of Management and Budget. Tanden removed her name from the nomination on March 2, 2021, and was instead appointed as a senior adviser. She was formerly the Center for American Progress’s president and CEO. Keep reading to learn all about Neera Tanden.
Neera Tanden is a UCLA alum who went on to Yale Law School after finishing her undergraduate work at the university. She was an assistant director for domestic policy in the Clinton administration and a senior policy advisor to First Lady Hillary Clinton. She also served as Hillary Clinton’s legislative director in the Senate and on her Senate campaign.
Tanden served on the staff of both the Clinton and Obama campaigns in the year 2008. She was a senior advisor for health care reform at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration.
She rose through the Center for American Progress’s ranks after leaving government service to become the organization’s president and CEO and the CEO of the Center’s action fund.
Neera served on the IPPR’s Commission on Economic Justice as a member commissioner (2016-2018). She is Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget in the next administration.
For the Center for American Progress and its Action Fund, Neera Tanden is the CEO and President. Neera most recently worked as the Center’s Chief Operating Officer, where she was in charge of strategy development, operations, and fundraising efforts.
A member of Washington’s elite, Neera was honored with the India Abroad Publisher’s Award for Excellence in 2011 and named one of the “Most Influential Women in Washington.” According to Elle magazine’s “Women in Washington Power List” published, she is one of the nation’s “most powerful women in politics.” She earned her graduation from UCLA with a degree in science and Yale Law School with a law degree.
Tanden was revealed as Biden’s candidate for head of the Office of Management and Budget on November 30, 2020.
According to Politico, “[Tanden] offers the first genuine test of Biden’s influence among Republicans,” as a frequent Twitter user and swaggering political fighter.
While being confirmed by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Tanden stated: “If allowed to lead OMB, I would make certain that the agency utilized all of the available resources to serve the needs of working Americans best, small businesses, and communities that are experiencing hardship. Whether the party is in power, I believe our government must serve all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. I’d make certain that our spending plans reflected the ideals of a country founded on hard labor, human dignity, a shared purpose, and limitless potential.”
Tanden’s confirmation hearing was conducted before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on February 9, 2021. On February 10, 2021, a second confirmation hearing was conducted by the Senate Budget Committee. After resistance to Tanden’s candidacy, committee votes on her nomination were postponed.
On February 19, 2021, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced that he would vote against Tanden’s confirmation. He believes it will be “toxic and harmful” to the crucial working relationship among members of Congress and the future director. To be confirmed, Tanden would need the support of at least one Republican senator.
All four Republicans who had voted for every Biden nominee up to that time — Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) — all indicated they would reject Tanden’s confirmation.
“Neera Tanden is a proficient policy expert who would be an excellent budget director,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated on February 22, 2021. “We look forward to all the committee votes this week and to continue working toward her affirmation through engagement with both parties,” Psaki said.
According to CNN, White House officials were pleading with senators for support and speculating about possible replacements for Obama.
Sen. Tanden’s nomination was postponed to a later date by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security including Governmental Affairs and the Senate Budget Committee on February 24, 2021. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) responded to a question about the delay by saying, “It didn’t seem like she had the votes.”
Neera Tanden was born on the 10th of September, 1970, to Indian immigrants in Bedford, Massachusetts. She is of South Asian and Indian descent and is a citizen of the United States.
Tanden started dating artist Benjamin Edwards while a student at the University of California, Los Angeles. They both volunteered for Michael Dukakis’ failed presidential campaign in 1988, Edwards and Tanden. During the Dukakis campaign, Tanden served as a precinct leader in West Los Angeles’ Bel-Air neighborhood.
Born on September 10, 1970, Neera Tanden is 51 years old.
The University of California, Los Angeles awarded Tanden a Bachelor of Arts in 1992, and Yale Law School awarded her an LL.D in 1996. She worked as the Yale Law & Policy Review’s submissions editor when she was a student at Yale University.
We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive bio on Neera Tanden and were inspired by her stellar political career and will to stand for important social causes. To learn more about other notable personalities, keep reading Seema.