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Spotlight on Commerce: Hari Sastry, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Resource Management

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Hari Sastry, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Resource Management

Ed. Note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series, which highlights members of the Department of Commerce who are contributing to the president's vision of an America Built to Last.

As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Resource Management, my main responsibility is to support the Office of the Secretary to link Budget, Performance, and Risk Management with the strategic direction of the Department. The budget for the Department of Commerce is approximately $8 billion and contains numerous Presidential priorities including trade promotion and advance manufacturing as well as programs of national security such as weather prediction and export control enforcement. Furthermore, we are working with each bureau to create a uniform enterprise risk management framework to improve Department’s ability to understand the status of major programs and make decisions based on that information. Our office plays a critical role in supporting the President’s agenda, as we use performance and risk information to formulate the budget in accordance with the Administration’s priorities. My favorite part of this job is that both policy formulation and implementation come together as budgets are formulated, allowing me to get a complete picture of how public policy works.

I was born and grew up in Chicago, IL. My parents emigrated from India in the early 1970s and have lived in the Chicago area for most of my life. I received a BS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, a Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a focus in Epidemiology, and moved to DC in 1997 to get a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University with a focus on health policy. I worked at the Office of Management and Budget for 11 years on veterans and military health issues prior to joining the Department of Commerce.

I have been active in many community groups, in the Asian American Community and beyond. For example, in my previous job at the Office of Management and Budget, I was chair of the OMB Diversity council for one year as well as chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander committee for two years. I was also active in local Hindu temples in the Chicago area and was a member of Network of Indian Professionals

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an important opportunity to highlight the influence and success of the Asian American community in the United States and our history as Americans.  For me, the most enjoyable aspect of the APA celebrations this month is seeing the incredible diversity within the Asian American community - a microcosm of the diversity we see in the country as a whole. One of the greatest things I have seen in my lifetime is the evolution of Indian Americans in this country from largely immigrants trying to assimilate to being part of the everyday culture in this country from food to entertainment to fashion to everyday vocabulary.

I am proud of my heritage and look forward to helping the APA community grow stronger.

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