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CLBR #318: Obama NSC Alum Rumana Ahmed on “West Wingers”

Obama NSC Alum Rumana Ahmed
on “West Wingers”

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Obama NSC Alum Rumana Ahmed on “West Wingers”

We continue our 2018 Miami Book Fair series with Obama National Security Council Alum Rumana Ahmed who is one of eighteen former Obama administration contributors to “West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House“.

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Rumana Ahmed interned in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence before becoming a full-time staffer. She then was a liaison to Muslim American and other communities in the Office of Public Engagement, where she also worked on highlighting community-based efforts to address issues like gun violence. Later, as Senior Advisor in the Office for Global Engagement and Strategic Communications in the National Security Council, she worked on advancing relations with Cuba and Laos.

A Bangladeshi-American and Muslim who wore a hijab since she was twelve, Rumana was the only (and possibly the first) hijab-wearing staffer in the West Wing.  She played a key role in President Obama’s visit and speech at a Baltimore mosque in response to anti-Muslim hate crimes.

As a non-political appointee with the National Security Council, she actually stayed on with the Trump Administration but lasted only eight days – resigning after the “Muslim Travel Ban”. She recounts her experience in an Atlantic piece entitled, I Was a Muslim in Trump’s White House.

West Wingers has earned praise from Kirkus Reviews: “A quick, readable, and often moving book—and a welcome contrast to the current dismal state of the White House.”

It’s hard to truly understand how special the Obama White House was without having been there, but West Wingers gets you as close as humanly possible. You may not have previously known the names of the amazing team contributing to this book, but you should. Our kids should. Their stories will leave you inspired and hopeful for our future.

Kal Penn, actor turned Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Rumana will be one of four “West Wingers” at the Miami Book Fair on Saturday, November 17th. Click here for details.

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