As Nisha Desai Biswal
officially became Washington's first Indian-American pointperson for South and Central Asia last week, her
boss mentioned that she
is known as "somebody who speaks softly and carries a big stick".
But whether it was with her
soft speech or her
big stick, Biswal's efforts to bring peace between the feuding begums of Bangladesh even before she
was formally sworn in won praise from US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"This week in Bangladesh, Nisha
showed how she never misses a chance to speak up or stand up for America's values," Kerry said, recalling her meetings with both Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia.
herself for the last three years has served as assistant administrator for Asia at the US Agency for International Development
(USAID), which is headed by Rajiv Shah, the highest-ranking Indian American in the Obama administration.
Days in her new job, Biswal in her own words "stole" another Indian-American Atul Keshap, who had done a stint at the US embassy in New Delhi 2005-2008, from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Bureau, to be her new deputy.