UDUPI: The appointment to an important post in the new Biden administration has brought cheers miles away — in Kundapur. The people have reason to be delighted as US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed a Kundapur origin woman, Mala Adiga, 47, as policy director of his wife Jill Biden, choosing an experienced education policy hand as the incoming First Lady focuses on education and plans to continue teaching community college classes.
Adiga was a senior advisor to Jill and had served as a senior policy advisor during the Biden-Kamala Harris campaign. Mala’s grandfather Dr Chandrashekar Adiga was a landlord in Bobbaryana Katte near Kundapur. Her father Dr Ramesh Adiga had moved from Kundapur to the US at the age of 24 after completing his medical education in 1960. Her mother Jaya Adiga had studied medicine in Vellore.
Mala was born in the US. She, however, has not forgotten her roots. She along with her husband Charles Biro had attended marriage functions of her close relatives in Kundapur.
She is also a patron of Chaitanya Special School, Kundapur. Mala and Charles have a 15-year-old daughter Asha.
Sujatha Nackathaya, cousin of Mala, who is the secretary of Chaitanya Special School, told The New Indian Express that Mala is a hard working woman and always strived to achieve great heights.
She said that Mala’s appointment has made all her family members here happy. “She makes annual trips to India and enjoys the family events,’’ she said.
During Obama’s administration, Mala had served as the deputy assistant secretary of state for Academic Programs at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues as chief of staff and senior advisor to the Ambassador-at-Large, as well as director for human rights on the National Security Staff. She presently stays in Illinois.
Mala graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa. She earned her J D (Juris doctor, degree required to practise law in the US) from the University of Chicago Law School and her Masters in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. She had worked as a clerk for a federal firm and for a Chicago law firm before joining the Obama presidential campaign in 2008.
Source: New Indian Express