The U.S. Senate has confirmed Indian American Nisha Desai Biswal as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the United States International Development Finance Corporation. DFC invests in development projects primarily in lower and middle-income countries. It invests across several sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology.
In a tweet after the July 27 confirmation, Desai Biswal wrote she is “thrilled, honored and humbled,” and is “thankful for the many friends and colleagues who supported me through confirmation.”
Biswal Desai has more than three decades of experience in U.S. foreign policy and international development programs within the executive branch, Congress, and the private sector. Most recently senior vice president for International Strategy and Global Initiatives at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, she oversaw the U.S. India Business Council and U.S. Bangladesh Business Council.
She previously served as Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State from 2013 to 2017. In that role she was responsible for the “U.S.-India strategic partnership during a period of unprecedented cooperation, including the launch of an annual U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue,” the White House said. During her tenure as assistant secretary, she initiated the C5+1 Dialogue with Central Asia and the U.S.-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue.
Before that, she was Assistant Administrator for Asia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), directing and supervising USAID programs and operations across South, Central, and Southeast Asia. She has also spent over a decade on Capitol Hill, working as staff director on the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on Appropriations as well as professional staff on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives.
She serves as chair of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid and is on both the board of the National Democratic Institute and the U.S. Institute of Peace International Advisory Council. She is a member of the United States Institute of Peace Afghanistan Study Group and the Aspen Institute’s India-U.S. Track 2 Dialogue on Climate and Energy. She graduated from the University of Virginia, where she studied International Relations and Economics. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband, two daughters and their Aussiedoodle puppy, Izzy.