WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden announced Thursday his intention to nominate Indian-American Ravi Chaudhry for a key position in the Pentagon.

Choudhury, a former Air Force officer, has been nominated for the position of Air Force Assistant Secretary for Facilities, Energy, and the Environment. He needs US Senate approval before he can be sworn in for this key Pentagon position.

Choudary previously served as a senior executive at the US Department of Transportation where he was director of advanced programs and innovation in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of Commercial Space, according to his biography released by the White House. In this role, Choudhury was responsible for implementing advanced research and development programs in support of the FAA’s commercial space transportation mission.

While at the Department of Transportation, he also served as Executive Director of District and Center Operations, where he was responsible for the integration and support of aviation operations in nine regions spread across the country.

The White House said that while on active duty from 1993 to 2015 in the US Air Force, he completed a variety of operational, engineering and senior staff assignments in the Air Force. As a C-17 pilot, he has conducted global flight operations, including numerous combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a ground deployment as Director of the Personnel Recovery Center, Multinational Corps, Iraq.

As a flight test engineer, he was responsible for aviation certification of avionics and military hardware for Air Force modernization programs that support flight safety and accident prevention. Earlier in his career, he supported GPS space launches and led Phase III and flight safety activities to ensure the full operational capability of the First GPS Constellation, the White House said. As a systems engineer, he supported NASA’s International Space Station protection activities to ensure the safety of NASA astronauts.

He also served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Asian Americans and the Pacific Islands during the Obama administration. In this role, he advised the President on the Executive Branch’s efforts to improve veterans’ support for the AAPI community. Chowdhury holds a Ph.D. specializing in Executive Leadership and Innovation from the DLS program at Georgetown University, a master’s in industrial engineering from Saint Mary’s University as a graduate fellow at NASA, a master’s in Operational Arts and Military Sciences from the Air University, and a bachelor’s in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Academy American.

He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and holds DOD Acquisition Certificates in Program Management, Testing and Evaluation, and Systems Engineering.

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