Shefali Ranganthan, a 38-year-old policy wonk born and raised in Chennai, has now been appointed as one of the Deputy Mayors of Seattle in the USA. Shefali Ranganathan was the Executive Director at Transportation Choices Coalition (TCC), a Washington State based non-profit working on public transport.
She is one of the two Asian American Deputy Mayors appointed by the newly elected Mayor of the American city. She has also been named in the Mayor-electâ€™s transition committee.
According to her profile, Shefali has worked on a range of transportation policy issues at the regional and local level in the US, coordinating a broad coalition of social justice, immigrant and refugee, public health, affordable housing, student, and senior groups working on transportation equity. She has served on several regional and local transportation advisory committees advocating for more transportation for over a decade.
The Times of India reports that Shefali was born to Chennai-based Pradeep and Cheryl Ranganathan, and attended school at Good Shepherd Convent and went to college at Stella Maris and later Anna University. She moved to the US in 2001 to pursue her Masters in Environmental Science at the American University. "She was always ahead of her peers, be it in school or in college. This is a recognition of her work in the area of transportation and we hope it acts as an inspiration for young girls in the country and abroad," Pradeep told TOI. "Even before she completed her course, she was offered a job by the government to work in the area of environmental conditions in Washington DC," he told TOI.
Seattle Times states in an editorial that Shefali's experience is in policy advocacy, and her management experience is running a six-person political advocacy group for two years. Shefaliâ€™s position will be an important part of the city administration amidst increasing traffic woes of residents of Seattle.