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SABA-DC Panel Discussion: Working in the White House

  • Thursday, January 28, 2016
  • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Mayer Brown LLP, 1999 K St NW



In 1939, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term in office, the foundations of the modern White House staff, the Executive Office of the President (EOP), was created to provide the President with the support needed to govern effectively.  The EOP, headed by the White House Chief of Staff, consists of the immediate staff of the President and multiple levels of support staff reporting to the President. The EOP has responsibility for tasks ranging from communicating the President's message to the American people to promoting our trade interests abroad.

What are the roles and responsibilities of various White House staff?  What are the preferred paths to working in the White House?  And what opportunities are available to those with White House experience?  Join SABA-DC for an interactive panel discussion where our experienced White House panel addresses these questions and much more.

The panel will be moderated by Rukku Singla.  Rukku Singla is a Deputy Associate Counsel of Presidential Personnel at the White House, where she vets candidates for presidential appointments. Before joining the White House, she was a litigation associate at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C., focusing on white collar investigations.

Our esteemed panel includes:

Gaurab Bansal serves as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Cabinet Secretary. He helps lead the team that liaises with Cabinet departments and agencies on behalf of the President and the White House. Gaurab’s portfolio includes coordinating implementation of key initiatives across the Administration.

Prior to joining the White House, he was deputy chief of staff at the Export-Import Bank of the United States.  Gaurab served as corporate counsel on President Obama’s 2012- re-election campaign in Chicago. Before that he practiced law with Perkins Coie LLP in both Seattle and Washington, D.C., where he focused on technology startups, venture capital, and business and political law. Gaurab also served as a public school teacher in Houston, where he taught 4th and 6th grades.

Uma Amuluru formerly served as Associate Counsel to the President.  In that role, she provided legal and strategic advice to senior White House officials and executive agencies on issues involving compliance, oversight, and risk management. She is currently a Counselor to the Attorney General of the United States.

Prior to joining the White House, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in D.C.. Before that, Uma was a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis, in Chicago.  Uma has also clerked for two federal judges and practiced commercial litigation at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, in New York.  


Vikrum Aiyer is a political appointee in the Obama Administration and Senior Advisor in the White House National Economic Council.  Previously, Aiyer was Deputy Chief of Staff of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the President's Commerce Department, where he advised the Secretary & Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property on the policies, budget priorities, and communications of the nation's IP agenda.

Aiyer also coordinated public-private partnership strategies aimed at expanding the national footprint of the patent & trademark office; boosting exports for small businesses; spurring advanced manufacturing opportunities in America; and ripening the business climate for start-up growth.  In 2015 Forbes Magazine named Aiyer as 30 Under 30 to watch in Law & Policy.

Probir Mehta currently serves as Acting Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property & Innovation in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President.  Probir leads negotiations with numerous trading partners on a wide variety of intellectual property (IP) and innovation issues and he was lead IP negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership involving 12 Asia-Pacific trading partners, representing 40% of the world’s GDP.  Previously, Probir previously served as Associate General Counsel at USTR and was Special Advisor to the first White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.

Prior to joining USTR, Probir was an associate at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, DC.  He also clerked for the Honorable Federico A. Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and was a Visiting Scholar at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata, India.


Our goal is to address the needs and concerns of the South Asian American legal community in Washington, D.C. while providing our members with the knowledge and support necessary to reach their personal and professional goals.

You can find us here:

South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C.

P.O. Box 65349
Washington, D.C. 20035

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