Indian-American Ravi Chaudhary was confirmed by the US Senate as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy, Installations, and the Environment by a bipartisan vote of 65-29.
With this appointment, Minneapolis native Chaudhary becomes the first Indian-American to become part of one of the top civilian leadership positions in the Pentagon.
His nomination was advanced by Senator Amy Klobuchar, who said that Chaudhary has the qualifications and experience needed for this critical role.
"Growing up as the son of immigrant parents in Minnesota, Dr. Ravi Chaudhary dreamed of serving our country as an Air Force pilot. From his more than two decades of service as an active duty Air Force officer to his tenure at the Federal Aviation Administration, Dr. Chaudhary has dedicated his career to public service," Klobuchar said in a statement released on Wednesday.
"I am confident that Dr. Chaudhary has the qualifications and experience needed for this critical role. Now that he has been confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working with him to support the men and women of the Air Force," she added.
The Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy, Installations, and the Environment is responsible for the Air Force's sustainability and operational readiness, including installations and basing strategy, as well as ensuring the quality of military housing.
Chaudhary served as an active duty Air Force pilot between 1993 and 2015, conducting numerous combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Following his retirement from military service, he served for five years as a senior official within the Regions and Center Operations and Office of Commercial Space at the Federal Aviation Administration.
He was also appointed by then-President Barack Obama to serve on the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. (KB/IANS)