US President Joe Biden has announced his intent to appoint Indian-Americans Manu Asthana and Madhu Beriwal to his National Infrastructure Advisory Council.
The President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) advises the White House on how to reduce physical and cyber risks, and improve security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors.
The 26 individuals announced Wednesday to the NIAC are leading senior executives with deep experience across a broad range of sectors, including banking and finance, transportation, energy, water, dams, defence, communications, information technology, healthcare services, food and agriculture, government facilities, emergency services, and higher education.
Asthana oversees the largest power grid in North America and one of the largest electricity markets in the world as the CEO and president of PJM.
“Under his leadership, PJM has established a clear path for defining the grid operator’s role in the transition to a cleaner, more efficient grid while maintaining reliable electric service,” the White House said.
Asthana has extensive leadership experience in the energy industry in the areas of power generation operations, optimisation and dispatch, competitive retail electricity, electricity and natural gas trading, and risk management. He is a member of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and serves on the Board of Trustees of Texas Children’s Hospital, the White House added.
“He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. Asthana earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a Joseph Wharton Scholar,” it said.
Madhu Beriwal founded the Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. (IEM) in 1985 and continues to serve as its CEO and president. IEM is the largest woman-led homeland security and emergency management firm in the United States.
“Under Beriwal’s leadership, IEM has led some of the largest mitigation and resilience efforts across the United States, building back stronger following disasters including disaster recovery programs, delivering federal funds to survivors and communities faster than any other program of the same type and magnitude,” the White House said.
“For over 37 years, Beriwal has been dedicated to the use of technology to enhance preparedness and response, and build resilience in communities and their critical infrastructure. She was inducted into the International Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame in 2012,” it said.
She holds a master’s degree in urban planning and a bachelor’s degree in geography and economics.