Bolstering U.S. COVID Relief Efforts in India: Perspectives from the Diaspora

The State Department cordially invites you to participate in a discussion on May 7 at 12:00 pm ET, hosted by the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs’ Senior Advisor Ervin Massinga and featuring remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris.  Senior Advisor  Massinga and USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia, Anjali Kaur, will provide an overview of U.S. government relief efforts and a panel of Indian American leaders will discuss diaspora-led efforts to address the current emergency and how Americans can contribute to these efforts.


Ervin Massinga

Ervin Massinga is the State Department’s Senior Advisor within the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA). Previously he served as the Office Director, then Deputy Assistant Secretary for Pakistan Affairs in SCA. Mr. Massinga is a career Foreign Service Officer since 1995. Prior to becoming Director of the Office of Pakistan Affairs, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Khartoum, Sudan from 2016-2018, and in Conakry, Guinea from 2013-2016. Other assignments include overseas tours in the Dominican Republic, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire and China, as well as domestic assignments in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Bureau of African Affairs, the Bureau of Energy and Economic Affairs, and at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Mr. Massinga is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (1990) and the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Public Affairs (1995). He is the recipient of several State Department Superior Honor Awards. He speaks Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.

Änjali Kaur

Änjali Kaur is the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia. She is an international development professional with comprehensive experience at the field, country, and global levels with evidence-based, integrated global health programs. Before joining USAID, Ms. Kaur was the Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation leading the global policy and advocacy strategies for the HIV and TB programs. Prior to that, she was the Senior Director of Asia Pacific for Malaria No More where she established the India Office and expanded the organization’s work across the region, engaging with governments, private sector, civil society and media. Ms. Kaur was also with UNICEF’s Polio Programme, where she worked at the country and HQ levels, as well as the World Bank and UNFPA. She is a Fulbright Scholar and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University.   

Honorable Virginia State Senator Dr. Ghazala Hashmi 

Dr. Hashmi represents the 10th district in the Senate of Virginia and is the first Muslim woman elected to the Virginia State Senate. She worked as an educator and academic administrator for 25 years before entering politics. Senator Hashmi was the founding director of the center for excellence in teaching and learning at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College where she was recognized for improving diversity, inclusion, and multicultural enrichment.   

Dr. Gunisha Kaur 

Dr. Kaur is an anesthesiologist specializing in human rights research. She earned her B.S. from Cornell University in 2006, graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 2010, and completed her Anesthesiology Residency training at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2014. She earned a Master’s Degree in Medical Anthropology from Harvard University in 2015.  Dr. Kaur’s research interests are in advancing the clinical care of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers. She regularly speaks on how COVID-19 has impacted refugee and immigrant communities, the role of culture in medicine, and how providers can build trust.  She is an active member of numerous Sikh organizations that are working to address COVID-19 crisis in India. 

Ms. Lata Krishnan

Ms. Krishnan is the Founder and Co-Chair of the Board of the American Indian Foundation. She is a technology entrepreneur, startup investor, and philanthropist as well as a member of numerous public and private boards, including the Stanford Medical Center and the London School of Economics’, South Asia Centre. 

Mr. MR Rangaswami

Mr. MR Rangaswami is the Founder and Chair of the Board of Indiaspora as well as a software executive, investor, entrepreneur, community builder and philanthropist. In addition to co-founding one of the earliest angel investment firms, the Sand Hill Group, he also founded the Corporate Eco Forum, an organization for Global 500 companies to accelerate ecologically sustainable business innovation.