Nisha Desai Biswal was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs on October 21, 2013. Previously, Ms. Biswal served from September 2010 as Assistant Administrator for Asia at USAID, where she oversaw $1.2 billion in assistance to 22 countries from Central Asia to the Pacific Islands and managed a bureau and overseas staff of over 1200 development professionals. During Biswal’s tenure, USAID reopened its mission in Burma and transitioned its programs in countries such as India, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan to global partnerships in development cooperation. Previously at USAID, Biswal had worked in the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Office of Transition Initiatives, and served as chief of staff in the Management bureau and worked with the USAID Administrator. In the House of Representatives, Biswal has served as the majority clerk for the House Appropriations Committee Foreign Operations Subcommittee (HACFO) and as professional staff in the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), where she was responsible for South Asia. Biswal also worked at InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international humanitarian and development nongovernmental organizations, where she was the Director of Public Policy; and at the American Red Cross, where she served as an international delegate in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.
Biswal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia.