Indian father-son duo leaves Obama Administration

Washington: Possibly the only father-son duo serving in senior positions in the Obama Administration, who also happen to be Indian-Americans, has announced to leave their positions for private sectors jobs.

Popularly known as Obama`s Export Czar, Indian-American Suresh Kumar is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade and Promotion, played a key role in achieving the ambitious goal of President Barack Obama in doubling exports in five years.

Kumar stewarded the Administration`s export push through a period of extraordinary results: exports moved up from 11 per cent of GDP to 14 per cent on his watch and the country is on track to deliver Obama`s goal of doubling exports by 2014. His son, Aditya Kumar who serves as the Deputy Assistant to the Vice-President, Joe Biden, and Senior Advisor to his Chief of Staff also left Monday for the private sector.

"It is a coincidence," the father, Kumar told PTI as he announced his decision to leave the Obama Administration after successful implementing the presidential mandate.

"After two extraordinary years of leading the USFCS and achieving most of what I set out to do, I have informed the White House and the Department of my desire to return to the private sector. At their request, I will continue to serve until March 2, to facilitate a smooth transition," Suresh Kumar said in his `dear colleague` letter to his team. He is Director General of the US & Foreign Commercial Service.

During his two tenures, export has increased from 11 per cent of the GDP in 2009 to 14 per cent of the GDP in 2011. "Your hard work has contributed to 16 per cent compounded annual growth in US exports since the launch of the National Export Initiative (NEI), and we are on track to deliver the President`s goal of doubling exports between 2009 and 2014," Kumar wrote. Kumar also played a key role in improving India-US relationship.

Suresh Kumar`s took two big missions – renewable energy and education – to India have been dubbed as successful. "I will forever be indebted to the President for the opportunity and honour to serve him and his Administration," he said.

"There is no question that our paths will cross again. The question is where we meet: China or California, or in India, Illinois or Indiana as I continue to support global expansion of trade in the private sector," Kumar said.

Prior to his joining the Obama administration, Kumar, a graduate in Economics from Delhi University, from spent over 30 years as an international businessman, consultant, coach and professor of management educations. Between 1970 and 1985 Kumar was news and sports anchor on national television in India. He also has an MBA from Bombay University, and is alum of the Thunderbird International Consortium Programme.

Between 2006 and 2007 Kumar served as Special Advisor to the Clinton Foundation and worked with Governments in Sub Saharan Africa and corporate CEOs to establish collaborative business models and execute farmer and market friendly programs to promote food security and stimulate economic development in the region.

As Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the US & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) Kumar also helped double the number of jobs supported or created by the department from 144, 000 jobs in 2009 to over 303,000 jobs in 2011.

"The last two years have been exhilarating, rewarding and deeply gratifying, giving back to the country that has given me much. I`d like the next few to be helping companies build or expand business regionally or globally," said Kumar.