California, USA (CU)_ US President Joe Biden has revealed his intention to name Indian-Americans Manu Asthana and Madhu Beriwal to his National Infrastructure Advisory Council. The President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) provides advice to the White House on ways to decrease physical and cyber threats as well as enhance the security and resilience of the country’s major infrastructure sectors.
The 26 officials selected for the NIAC are senior-level executives with vast experience in a variety of industries, including banking and finance, transportation, energy, water, dams, defense, communications, information technology, healthcare services, food and agriculture, government facilities, emergency services, and higher education. As the CEO and president of PJM, Asthana manages the leading power system in North America, one of the world’s largest electricity markets.
According to the White House, “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 stated that Asthana has substantial leadership expertise in the energy sector, especially in the fields of power generating operations, optimisation and dispatch, competitive retail electricity, electricity and natural gas trading, and risk management. Moreover, he is a member of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and the Board of Trustees of Texas Children’s Hospital. It said, “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”.
In 1985, Madhu Beriwal established Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. (IEM) and currently serves as the company’s CEO and president. IEM is the biggest and the leading homeland security and emergency management company in the United States that is run by a woman. She graduated with a master’s in urban planning and a bachelor’s in geography and economics.
According to the White House, “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”. It added, “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”.