MANGALURU: The reach of Mangaluru origin people has touched the White House, the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States of America. Shilpa Hegde, an Indian American, is now senior assistant staff secretary in President Barack Obama’s office.
She belongs to Belinje family of Perdoor, an obscure hilly town in Udupi taluk. Her parents Vidya and Sadananda Hegde are well respected Medical practitioners in the US. Shilpa, however, had joined politics and worked in Obama’s campaign of in 2008 in North Carolina. In 2009, she worked as a research analyst at Atlas project and in the following year, she was appointed as the assistant director of the White House. She was later promoted as the senior assistant staff secretary there.
“Her entire family is in the medical field. Her father Sadananda Hegde is a well-known cardiologist in Lumberton town situated on Highway 99 and mother looks after the clinic. Her brother Akhil Hegde specialises in Nephrology in the US. We still are wondering what made Shilpa take up Law when she joined the Democratic party and became the field organiser of campaign in North Carolina during the first run of Obama to the office. She was just 18 then. Later, when she was appointed at the White House she had to give up her Law education. The university there allowed her, but she still have to attend the university if she wanted to complete her Law graduation,” her aunt Dr B Vasanthi Shetty told Express.
Her uncle Dr Subhashchandra Shetty said, “She loves Tulu language and I am sure she will learn Tulu one day. She still visits her ancestral house in Perdoor and loves coastal food.”