Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in as the US Supreme Court judge, the post he earlier held in the federal appeals court in Washington DC remains vacant. To fill this position, US president Donald Trump has interviewed Indian-American woman Neomi Jehangir Rao.
She was recommended for the post in DC Circuit Court by former White House counsel Don McGahn, according to Axios, and Trump was said to have been keen on meeting her as he wants to appoint a minority woman as Kavanaugh's replacement.
However, sources have told the website that the president wasn't very impressed with Rao and isn't too sure of her. "Immediately after Trump met with Rao, two sources briefed on their encounter say they got the strong impression that the president was not impressed by her," Axios said.
Meanwhile, a third source revealed that Trump was rethinking his initial impression of Rao and may still choose to appoint her.
Who is Neomi Jehangir Rao?
- Neomi Jehangir Rao is a lawyer, academic, and government official and currently serves as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)
- She was born to Indian physicians Zerin Rao and Jehangir Narioshang Rao on March 22, 1973, and was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
- She received her education at Detroit High School and Yale University, after which she attended the University of Chicago Law School.
- Rao served as a clerk to conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas between 2001 and 2002 and to Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 2000 to 2001.
- She then practiced public international law and arbitration at British law firm Clifford Chance London.
- The 45-year-old has also served as associate counsel to former president George W Bush and counsel for nominations and constitutional law to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
- In the past, she has garnered appreciation for her work with former OIRA administrator Susan Dudley saying that Rao was "an excellent choice to lead OIRA...In addition to a sharp legal mind, she brings an openness to different perspectives and an ability to manage the competing demands of regulatory policy."
- Rao is married to Alan Lefkowitz, and the couple has two children.