Nisha Biswal is the President of the U.S.-India Business Council.
Biswal served as Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs in the U.S. Department of State from 2013 to 2017, where she oversaw the U.S.-India strategic partnership during a period of unprecedented cooperation, including launching the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. In recognition of her efforts, Biswal was awarded the prestigious Samman Award by the President of India in January 2017. She previously served as Assistant Administrator for Asia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Biswal also spent over ten years on Capitol Hill, serving as staff director on the State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives. Most recently, she was a senior advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Group, where she helped expand the firm’s India and South Asia practice.
Biswal has served on the board of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and is a current member of the U.S. Institute of Peace International Advisory Council and the Institute for Sustainable Communities Board of Directors.
Amy Hariani currently serves as Vice President & Legal Policy Counsel at the U.S.-India Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In this role she assists companies in understanding government policies and international economic laws impacting their business. She works with companies to develop unconventional solutions to policy issues. Hariani advocates to U.S. federal agencies and members of Congress to address and remedy market access barriers. She also regularly works with the Government of India and advises various ministries on impediments to investment and trade.
Prior to joining USIBC, Hariani was an associate at the law firm of King & Spalding LLP. Hariani focused her practice on international trade litigation and market access issues by providing strategic, legal, and policy advice to domestic and foreign clients. She developed and led the international trade group’s work in India. Previously, Hariani led the Asia portfolio as an international trade counselor at a government relations firm in Washington, D.C.
A native of Minnesota, Hariani received her Juris Doctor from American University, Washington College of Law. She received her bachelor’s in political science and philosophy from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Hariani has knowledge of Hindi and Spanish and serves on the Boards of Pratham, DC and Indo-U.S. Brain Trust.
Ryan Miller has joined the U.S.-India Business Council as the Head of Strategy and Business Development. Most recently, Mr. Miller served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the United States Department of State, where he advised senior State Department and U.S. government leaders on strategy, business engagement, policy formulation, and crisis management related to one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sanchit Aggarwal currently serves as Senior Manager at USIBC and handles various portfoilios that include: food and agriculture, retail, legal services, and CSR. In this role he works with member companies in helping them understand various sector related policies and helps them in their advocacy efforts with the Indian Government. He regularly works with the Government of India, Government of USA and the member companies to promote bilateral trade, introduction of best practices and policy advocacy.
Before joining USIBC, Aggarwal was working at AbInBev ( Largest Beer Company in the World) in their Corporate Affairs team and was handling Government Advocacy. He worked on various strategic government facing projects and CSR projects. He also worked with Delhivery, a leading e-commerce logistics company and helped them set up their legal department.
Aggarwal has completed his MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad with specialization in Strategy and Public Policy and his B.A. LLB from National Law University, Punjab
Nayanima Basu serves as Director – Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy with the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In this role, she is responsible for promoting and upholding the business ethos of USIBC as it aims at bolstering U.S. and India commercial ties thereby strengthening business to business ties between both the countries. She will also be looking at building effective channels of communications with various think-tanks, public institutions and advocacy groups that work on bettering U.S. and India bilateral ties. Nayanima has been a business journalist for over 13 years and has worked with various financial dailies in India such as Business Standard and The Hindu Business Line among others. She has also been a contributor to Bloomberg Law reporting on issues concerning US-India trade and investment.
Shefali Dhar currently serves as Manager of Energy, CSR & Operations at the U.S.-India Business Council's U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to this role, Dhar was a researcher for the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, focusing on subnational energy engagement between the U.S. and India. Previously, she was a researcher at the Hudson Institute’s South Asia Program working on security threats and foreign policy issues in the region.
Dhar graduated with a bachelor’s from the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, where she concentrated in International Systems and World Order, and Asia. She is fluent in Hindi and Kashmiri, and has knowledge of French. In her spare time, she enjoys writing short stories and collecting music.
Kelsey Cadden serves as Associate Manager of Operations at the U.S.-India Business Council. She supports the development of policy agendas, programs, and events for USIBC, in addition to any other department projects as needed.
Prior to her role with USIBC, Cadden was the coordinator for the Middle East Affairs Department at U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She supported the U.S.-Egypt Business Council, the U.S.-Iraq Business Initiative, and the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative. She was also responsible for regional programming for the Middle East and North Africa.
Cadden has two bachelor’s degrees from American University, one in International Relations and one in International Economics. She enjoys rugby, theater, and traveling.
Harshika Errangani serves as the Director of Development Strategy, Fundraising and Operations for USIBC. In her current capacity, she oversees the development and implementation of an integrated and strategic fundraising plan to achieve revenue goals, membership and corporate relations, SOP across all offices and supports Board related activity.
Prior to joining USIBC in 2011, Harshika was an associate faculty member at the IRIS Center at the University of Maryland College Park, Department of Economics, which is also her alma mater. She has worked as a Junior Economist and has experience in developmental economics and statistical analysis. In her previous role, she worked on the Business Development Team on projects for donors such as the UN, USAID, World Bank, IFC, IADB, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Harshika is fluent in Hindi and Sinhala and is proficient in French, Punjabi, and Urdu.
Lauren Diekman leads U.S.-India Business Council’s Energy and Environment program. Prior to joining USIBC, Ms. Diekman served as the India Advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of International Affairs where she managed coordination of the bilateral energy relationship and spearheaded the U.S.-India Strategic Energy Partnership. Diekman also served in the Bureau of South and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State where she covered a number of economic issues including: energy, environment, and innovation. Earlier in her career, Diekman served in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs; Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; the State Department Operations Center; and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
Diekman holds a MPP from American University and a B.A. from University of Toledo, Ohio. Diekman resides in Washington, D.C.
Jay Gullish has passionately promoted digital development in more than 20 countries over his 25 years of experience in government, industry, and civil society across the telecoms, information technology, satcom, and cyber sectors. He has a reputation as an innovative critical thinker and industry expert known for thought leadership, problem solving and an ability to get the job done. As a Senior Director within The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), Gullish leads the Digital Economy Committee, as well as the USIBC Privacy Working Group.
Most recently, he served as a digital policy officer at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi covering cyber policy, telecommunications, information technology, digital inclusion, and commercial space. While at the Embassy, Gullish aligned U.S. cyber policy toward India across multiple in-country USG agencies and consulates on behalf of the State Department's Coordinator for Cyber Issues (S/CCI). Gullish was also the in-country lead for the U.S.-India ICT Working Group and the U.S.-India Cyber Consultations. Gullish previously worked in India's outsourcing industry, and has lived and worked in India for more than five years. He has international technology experience in Southern Africa, Israel, and Viet Nam.
Born in New York and raised in California, Gullish has a passion for the outdoors, wildlife and actions that ensure the long-term health of our planet. He is also active in promoting STEM education. He is married to a U.S. diplomat, and has two children.
Frank Hollowell directs USIBC's Infrastructure, Energy and Smart Cities portfolio from on the ground in Mumbai. His focus in the infrastructure space includes identifying specific sectors and projects which represent attractive opportunities for members. In addition, Hollowell is identifying initiatives to support India's $1 trillion infrastructure investment over the next decade through dialogue regarding best practices on regulatory, skilling, project management and effective leadership.
Prior to joining USIBC, Hollowell led the Project Research team for CG/LA Infrastructure, a DC-based infrastructure advisory firm. His role facilitated partnerships between governments and companies to enable international finance, EPC, technology and equipment providers to enter new markets. Hollowell began his Washington, DC career on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant for two Members of Congress who served on the Transportation & Infrastructure and Appropriations Committees.
Hollowell holds a master’s degree in International Trade and Investment Policy from the George Washington University, and bachelor’s degrees in Business Economics and International Affairs from University of California Riverside. Born in London, and having lived in France, Mexico, Italy, United Kindgon and California, he claims San Diego as his hometown. He speaks French, has played rugby for 17 years, and lives with his wife Molly in Mumbai, India.
Abhishek Kishore serves as a Senior Director with the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is the Deputy Director of the India office for the Council. In this role, he is responsible for Council wide policy advocacy and stakeholder engagement initiatives in India for leading US and Indian companies. Along with that, he also focuses on the Digital Economy domain, advising several technology companies (global U.S. and Indian IT leaders, e-Commerce and fintech innovators) on government policies and regulatory frameworks.
Prior to USIBC, he was based in Los Angeles helping a big data analytics startup expand its business in the Southern California region. Kishore has previously worked for major technology companies including Infosys Technologies, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Forrester Research in India as well as in the United States for several years.
Kishore is a computer science engineer by training and has a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in Boston. Kishore moved back to India in July 2016 and since then has been helping USIBC grow its footprint in India.
Jahaanvi leads coordination of events at the USIBC India office. In her role, she is responsible for ensuring smooth operations between verticals, handling day-to-day operations and providing systematic support for office administration.
Prior to this role, Jahaanvi was the Assistant Brand Manager for the CFO vertical at 9.9 Mediaworx. At CFO India, Jahaanvi was handling the community connect programmes, and was responsible for curating content, orchestrating agendas, running digital programs and operations for conferences conducted to engage the senior finance community in the country. She also worked briefly with HT Media Pvt. Ltd., where she covered crime, entertainment, and sports.
Jahaanvi holds a Masters' degree in management and liberal arts from the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women. She has studied Journalism & Mass Communication at The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi. Jahaanvi practices theatre on the weekends, and aspires to bring meaningful changes in the community through the art form.
Sandeep Maini serves as the head of life sciences, food and agriculture, and retail at the U.S.-India Business Council.
Previously, Sandeep served as the Senior Commercial Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi and provided clients with expertise in host country counseling, market entry, strategic communication, and advocacy. In this role, Maini promoted U.S. exports, opened foreign markets to American products, protected U.S. commercial interests in India and promoted investment into the United States.
Nick Mancini serves as the head of logistics, operations, and civil aviation at the U.S.-India Business Council. He heads up USIBC's member services along with managing the Council's accounts. Mancini is also responsible for coordinating advocacy efforts within USIBC's various portfolios and initiatives.
Mancini has been with USIBC for 10 years, supporting its Board of Directors, operations, and staff.
Mancini studied at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA where he graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in History.
Sidhanta Mehra is a senior manager for states engagement with the U.S. Chamber's U.S.-India Business Council. He is leading USIBC's efforts to add more transparency and depth to subnational engagement both across India and the United States. His research has focused on Indian domestic policy, particularly the role played by India's states in setting policy and driving development. He previously worked at the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at the Washington,D.C.-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. At CSIS, Sidhanta was responsible for the administration of the U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative, the chair's first-of-its-kind effort to build subnational partnerships to drive energy development in India and the United States.
Sidhanta received his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.
Nileema Pargaonker serves as the Senior Director for the Council’s financial services portfolio. She works with both financial service providers and policy makers to build a dynamic financial services sector in India.
Nileema previously served at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly NASD) (FINRA) where she spent more than 16 years as a regulator in a number of divisions including, Corporate Finance and Enforcement. For ten of those years, she was as a Director in FINRA’s International Department where she led FINRA’s relationships with foreign regulators in Europe and Asia. In this role, she delivered technical assistance to emerging markets on regulatory rule reform, oversight programs, and policy development.
Nileema earned her Bachelor’s degree from University of Chicago, a Master’s in South Asian Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a JD/MA (International Law) from American University -- Washington College of Law.
Carolyn Posner currently serves as Manager and Executive Assistant at the U.S.-India Business Council, where she supports USIBC President Nisha Biswal in day-to-day and strategic operations and engages with member companies on CSR initiatives.
Prior to joining USIBC, Posner managed South Asia cross-border economic issues for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. In that role, she advanced efforts to foster cross-border trade linkages between India and its neighbors as the foundation for sustained economic growth. She previously worked as an analyst at The Asia Group, providing political and economic assessments for clients operating across in the Asia-Pacific region.
Posner received a bachelor’s in history from Wellesley College and a master’s in international affairs from the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She enjoys traveling and playing ultimate frisbee.
Osamazaid Rahman is currently Deputy Director, Defense & Aerospace at the U.S.-India Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He also handles sectors such as Civil Aviation, Strategic Trade and Space. Rahman works in areas of government policies, bi-lateral and international treaties, and international laws impacting businesses. He helps companies develop linkages with officials and policymakers, and works with the industry to address and remedy market access barriers, and policy and trade related issues.
Rahman comes with over six years of experience in policy and advocacy. Prior to joining USIBC he was associated with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and has worked in sectors such as Defense, Aerospace, Homeland Security, GIS and Publishing. He was involved in organizing some of FICCI's mega events, like the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on behalf of the Government of India. In addition, Rahman has over 10 years of editorial experience with publishing houses such as Oxford University Press, Orient Longman, McGraw Hill, etc. Rahman has also worked with TCS, to design questions for entrance to Indian Institute of Management in 2014 and 2105, and is involved with WWF-India in areas such as renewable energy, conservation and sustainability and wildlife resource management.
Rahman completed his Post Graduate and MPhil from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and is working on his doctoral thesis on urban settlement and labor migration in India. He received his B.A. from the University of Calcutta. He has knowledge of Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Persian. Rahman lives in New Delhi with his wife and two daughters.
Michael Ridings currently serves as Associate Manager for Business Development , Corporate Relations, financial services & immigration at the U.S.-India Business Council. In this role he is responsible for day-to-day administration of all accounts receivable activity, including close coordination with policy staff, International Division staff. This includes ensuring compliance with all tax/vendor requirements related to member payments.
Prior to joining USIBC, Ridings held various internships while finishing graduate school. These positions included stints in the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Originally from Arizona, Ridings received his Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Political Science and Geography from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Ridings is also a board member of the TCU-DC Alumni Chapter, and serves as a volunteer firefighter in his free time.
Mayank Rohatgi currently serves as the Director of Life Sciences, Manufacturing, and Logistics & Supply Chain at the U.S.-India Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In this role he assists members in understanding the government policies and working on possible solutions on the policy issues. He works closely with the different Departments and Ministries of Government of India to address concerns of the companies in order to promote trade and investment.
Mayank’s work experience includes 7 years with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and last 18 months as Deputy Director of Medical Technology Association of India (MTal) where he actively worked with companies to provide input on government policies and regulations for the Medical Technology sector. Mayank has experience formulating strategies and building consensus among members, identifying industry issues, prioritizing and creating advocacy plans, and identifying stakeholders in Government and influencers to resolve issues.
Benjamin Schwartz leads the U.S.-India Business Council’s Defense and Aerospace program. In this capacity, he advocates for pro-trade policies before senior officials in the Office of the Indian Prime Minister, Indian Ministry of Defense, Indian Ministry of External Affairs as well as in Washington D.C. before U.S. Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and other congressional committee staffs and a myriad of executive branch agencies, including the National Security Council, State Department, Commerce Department and Defense Department.
Schwartz previously served in a range of positions within the U.S. national security community, including at the Department of State, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense. As Director for India in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he directly supported Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Undersecretary Frank Kendall in implementing the U.S.-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative. In this capacity, Schwartz was instrumental in establishing groundbreaking U.S.-India aircraft carrier and jet engine technology cooperation and securing Prime Minister Modi and President Obama’s commitment to new private sector DTTI “pathfinder projects”. Within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Schwartz also served as the Director for Singapore and the South China Seas as well as an advisor for Special Operations, Combating Terrorism and Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is the author of Right of Boom (Overlook Press, 2015), which focuses on threats posed by nuclear weapons and his unclassified writings have appears in journals such as the Wall Street Journal, The American Interest, the Diplomat, the Washington Post, and Orbis as well as various newspapers.
Schwartz was born in Pittsburgh, PA and completed his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College. Initially focused on finance, Ben worked at the World Trade Center in New York City but shifted his career to national security after al-Qa'ida's attacks on 9/11. Recruited by the U.S. Intelligence Community, Ben entered government service through analytical positions at CIA and the Department of State and joined the civil service as a Presidential Management Fellow after completing a Master Degree in International Relations with concentrations in International Economics and Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. He lives with his wife and three children in the Washington D.C. area.
Sukanya serves as the communications lead for the U.S.-India Business Council. In this role, she is responsible for the overall messaging and branding of the organization, maintaining relations with members of the press, and key sector-specific policy campaigns as well as events.
Prior to this role, Sukanya handled communications and fundraising responsibilities at international non-profits such as ClearWater Initiative and Room to Read where she organized large-scale fundraising and marketing campaigns. She has experience in handling business development projects in emerging markets and has worked on donor engagement programs in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. She has also worked as a communications specialist with advocacy groups that highlight matters related to gender inequality, climate change impact and the creative commons movement.
Sukanya has studied at Sociology at Lady Shriram College (Delhi University), and received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.
She is fluent in Hindi and Bengali and loves kickboxing and traveling.
Rohan Sirkar directs USIBC's Financial Services, Real Estate and the USIBC Task Force on Supply Chain Standards and Practices portfolio from on the ground in Mumbai, additionally he also provides depth in the region across verticals for the Council. He is primarily engaged in Policy Research & Advocacy, which in turn culminates to representations and reports for Industry, Regulators and Departments of the Government for companies that liaise with USIBC. Rohan began his career as an Officer Trainee at IndusInd Bank and prior to joining USIBC, he led the Banking, Financial Inclusion and Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) verticals for Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Rohan holds a Masters in Management Studies (MMS) - Finance from K.J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, and Bachelors degrees in Commerce from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. A hardcore Tennis and Formula 1 fan, he lives with family in Mumbai, India.
Thea Uppal leads the West Coast office in San Francisco, California and is a Policy Director at the U.S.-India Business Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She works with the policy advocacy and investment agendas important to the companies resident in the western states and promotes points of engagement with visiting GoI and State Governments of India along with Federal and State government stakeholders in the US. She serves as Director for Renewables on the Energy & Environment Committee, Director on the Media & Entertainment Committee and leads USIBC’s Fintech & Payment Platform Initiative (FPP). Uppal further works across councils in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s International Division, helping to engage new industries and regional stakeholders through supporting trilateral summits, major industry forums and cross-cutting platforms for the many foreign markets that draw investment from the United States.
Prior to joining USIBC in 2013, Uppal was living abroad in Canada. She worked in the film industry in production, marketing and sales and held several research positions focused in foreign markets including: commodity chain analysis in India; financial inclusion & food security in Canada and sustainable world city development in Asia. A native of Arizona, Thea originally moved abroad to study at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. There she received her B.A. in Asian Area Studies and her M.A. in Asia Pacific Policy Studies, with a concentration in Economic and Social Change in India. While a graduate student, she also worked for the Institute of Asian Research, assigned to China-India relations and Tibetan studies and coordinated her first international summit. Thea further studied South Asian languages in India, including the art of Urdu calligraphy, Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Fine Art, Photography at the University of Arizona. Ms. Uppal lives in Northern California with her husband