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Preeta D. Bansal-


Obama announced the appointment of Preeta D. Bansal as senior Policy Advisor

Jan 21, 2009

On the eve of his taking over the Office, President Obama names NRI lawyer, Preeta D. Bansal as General Counsel and senior Policy Advisor at the Office of Management and Budget at the White House.

She has been Commissioner on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Election Modernisation Task Force

Preeta Bansal: The 42-year-old lawyer is a partner at Skadden, Arps, slate, Meagher & Fom in New York. Bansal was also part of Bill Clinton’s White House and Justice Department in 1993-96. She was the first Indian American to head the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Bansal became familiar with Obama's foreign-policy work through her service on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. She shared the candidate's emphasis on expanding legal immigration, especially jobs-based immigration, although Obama has also fought for placing a continued priority on family reunification.


NRI, Preeta D. Bansal, elected as chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

Washington, July 01, 2004
Joe Khosla

A leading constitutional lawyer, NRI, Preeta D. Bansal, has been elected as chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). On Thursday, Bansal became the first Indian American to chair the independent and bipartisan federal agency that advises the US administration and Congress. She has served as the commissioner on the panel

Preeta Bansal is the former Solicitor General of the State of New York, a position she held during the first three years of Attorney General’s Eliot Spitzer’s administration. As Solicitor General, she helped supervise a staff of six hundred lawyers in the New York Department of Law, and directly oversaw forty-five lawyers in the Solicitor General=s Office. The Solicitor General’s office handles appeals for the State of New York and its agencies in state and federal courts, writes Attorney General opinions to state and municipal agencies on issues of state law, and provides advice and counsel to State agencies.

During her tenure as Solicitor General, Ms. Bansal focused on strengthening the credibility of the Attorney General’s office, and the Solicitor General’s office in particular, with the courts and public. She played a primary role in reviewing and refining some substantive positions taken by the State in litigation and in Attorney General opinions, and in implementing steps to enhance the credibility and quality of written and oral advocacy performed by the office. She engaged in extensive and active recruitment of attorneys for the Attorney General’s office from various sectors of the New York legal community, as well as regular dialogue and relationship-building with the New York state and federal court systems and judges. She initiated major steps to reorganize and reinvigorate management, training and procedures within the Solicitor General’s office and the Attorney General’s office as a whole with the aim of making state government accountable, transparent, efficient and more inclusive. She played a principal role in helping the Attorney General to formulate and articulate a vision for a proactive enforcement role for state attorneys general nationwide in the wake of the Supreme Court’s “new federalism” jurisprudence. She also argued cases in the United States Supreme Court, the en banc Second Circuit, and the New York State Court of Appeals on behalf of New York State. She has been profiled in many national news and legal publications, including The New York Times and the New York Law Journal.

Ms. Bansal is a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College, and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where she was Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review. She served as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court (1990-1991) and to Chief Judge James L. Oakes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1989-1990). Prior to her appointment as New York Solicitor General, Ms. Bansal practiced First Amendment/media and appellate law with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in New York City (1996-1999), and previously with Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. (1991-1993). She served in the Clinton Administration (1993-1996) as Counselor in the U.S. Justice Department and as Special Counsel in the Office of the White House Counsel, where she focused on the President’s judicial nominations, issues relating to youth violence and violence against women, coordination of the United States’ agenda for the United Nations Conference on Women (Beijing), and defense of the First Lady’s Health Care Task Force. She also served as Counselor to Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein (now Chancellor of the New York City school system) in the U.S. Department of Justice (Antitrust Division).

She has organised and sponsored numerous fact-finding missions to Sudan, China, Egypt, and elsewhere and has testified regularly before Congress about the governments of these countries. She is the author of In the Lion's Den, a book on anti-Christian persecution around the world, and writes frequently on the status of religious freedom in the world.

Ms. Bansal has been a regular speaker and lecturer on constitutional law issues in the United States and abroad, and has authored and co-authored pieces published in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and Villanova Law Review, among other publications. She has received awards and recognition from several local and national legal associations and immigrant community groups, and has been active in numerous community and social service activities. She is a regular volunteer at community soup kitchens, has served as a life skills mentor to inner New York City children, and serves on the national boards of several nonprofit organizations. She received her elementary and secondary education in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was born in India and immigrated with her family to the American Midwest at the age of three. She currently is on sabbatical and teaching constitutional law as a Visiting Professor in her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska.




Preeta D. Bansal