By Arun Kumar
Washington, Aug 24 (IANS) Sohini Chatterjee, an Indian American lawyer involved in development work worldwide, has been appointed as Senior Advisor in the Office of Donor Engagement in the US Agency for International Development's newly created Policy Planning Bureau.
Chatterjee will work closely with USAID administrator, Dr Rajiv Shah, the highest ranking Indian American in the Obama administration, and another Indian American, Nisha Desai Biswal, recently appointed as the Assistant Administrator for Asia in the agency.
The new bureau is envisaged to consolidate policy-planning functions within USAID and evaluate what natural disasters, civil unrest outbreaks or refugee crises are most urgently in need of the agency's limited resources.
Born in Rourkela, Orissa, and raised in Cary, North Carolina, Chatterjee earlier worked in the Development Economics Prospect Group at the World Bank on the issues of migration and remittances.
Before her stint with the World Bank, she spent five years as an associate in the Washington, DC office of Steptoe & Johhson LLP, a top-notch law firm, where she was a member of the Regulatory & Industry Affairs Department and the International Department.
Here, she provided legal and strategic advice on expanding access to foreign markets with a specific focus on access to the Indian market, and US trade and civil litigation, which included working on the first ever international trade case to reach the US Supreme Court.
Prior to joining Steptoe & Johnson, Chatterjee worked on European Union regulatory and tax matters for the global firm of Linklaters LLP, in their office in Brussels.
She is an alumnus of Columbia University, from where she received her BA in Literature, The Johns Hopkins University from where she received her MA in International Relations and International Economics and Duke University School of Law from where she received her Juris Doctor.
Before attending law school, Chatterjee worked for the US Department of State's Mission to the United Nations and for The Protection Project, a legal human rights research institute, where she focused on the issues of trafficking and child slavery in South America and Africa.