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History Making South Asians to Speak at Seventh Annual North American South Asian Bar Association Convention

March 20, 2010

Preet Bharara (public domain image)

Neel Kashkari (public domain image)

Two South Asians who have made history in recent years are set to speak at the 2010 NASABA Convention, to be held at the Boston Intercontinental Hotel from June 24 to June 27.

Mr. Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Neel Kashkari, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability in the United States Department of the Treasury, have each made history in public service, one as the top federal prosecutor in southern New York state and the other as the point person in charge of the Troubled Asset Relief Program under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Both are apt speakers at a convention whose theme is “Making History.”

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Preet Bharara to become the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York on August 7, 2009.  Mr. Bharara was sworn in as the United States Attorney on August 13, 2009 and oversees the litigation of all criminal and civil cases brought on behalf of the United States in the District, which is comprised of Manhattan, Bronx, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Sullivan counties. He supervises an office of more than 450 employees, including more than 200 Assistant United States Attorneys.

As United States Attorney, Mr. Bharara oversees numerous criminal and civil cases, including groundbreaking financial fraud and insider trading prosecutions, historic international terrorism cases, and the resolution of alleged civil rights violations at various public venues. Since becoming United States Attorney, Mr. Bharara has formed a specialized unit in the Criminal Division dedicated to addressing the significant threats posed by large-scale sophisticated frauds and emerging cyber crimes. He has created another specialized unit of prosecutors, merging two previously independent units, to pursue and prosecute the leaders of organizations that engage in transnational acts of terrorism, narco-terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and money laundering. Under his supervision, the Office continues to combat corruption by city, state, and federal officials, as well as violent crime in New York City and the rest of the District.

Prior to his appointment at United States Attorney, Mr. Bharara served as the Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. During his tenure, he helped to lead the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into the firing of United States Attorneys. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Bharara prosecuted a wide range of cases involving organized crime, racketeering, securities fraud, money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and other crimes while serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

Prior to his public service, Mr. Bharara was a litigation associate at private firms in New York City. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an A.B. in Government in 1990, and from Columbia Law School with a J.D. in 1993, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review.

Neel Kashkari

Neel Kashkari is a Managing Director of Pacific Investment Management Company (commonly known as “PIMCO”) and head of new investment initiatives.  From October 8, 2008 to May 2009, Mr. Kashkari was the Interim Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability. In that role, Mr. Kashkari was responsible for management of the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.

After his appointment by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Mr. Kashkari oversaw the disbursement of the TARP fund, managing a staff of more than 135 attorneys and compliance officers.  He also oversaw fundamental changes to TARP’s mission, precipitated by market developments that occurred after Congress had initially allocated funding. Mr. Kashkari testified about the plan’s implementation before Congressional oversight panels.

Prior to his pivotal role relating to TARP, Mr. Kashkari served as assistant secretary for international economics and development at the Treasury.  He also acted as Senior Advisor to Secretary Paulson providing counsel to the Secretary on key policy matters.

Prior to joining the Treasury Department, Mr. Kashkari was a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in San Francisco, where he led Goldman’s IT Security Investment Banking practice, advising public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions and financial transactions. Prior to his career in finance, Mr. Kashkari was a R&D Principal Investigator at TRW in Redondo Beach, California where he developed technology for NASA space science missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

Originally from Stow, Ohio, Mr. Kashkari graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Engineering. He also received an M.B.A. in Finance from the Wharton School.

About NASABA: The North American South Asian Bar Association (“NASABA”) is the principal voice for legal issues in the South Asian community and a diverse voice for the community at large. NASABA chapters serve local communities in the United States and Canada, and their members are leaders practicing in large and small law firms, government agencies, academia, and public interest groups. With over 6,000 members in 27 chapters NASABA provides a powerful support network for South Asians in the legal community as well as a deep expert pool for the media and events. Contact: NASABA Vice President of Public Relations, Tara M. Raghavan at or at (312) 222-6340 or visit

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