Indian-American economic advisor Daleep Singh is leading the US government's imposition of sanctions on Russia over the latter's hostile military policy against Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on 21 February recognised Donetsk and Luhansk as independent from Ukraine, and also sent Russian troops into the two separatist-controlled regions for "peacekeeping".
In his opening remarks to White House correspondents, Singh said that "Russia's long previewed invasion of Ukraine has begun and so too has our response."
"Today, the president responded swiftly and in lockstep with allies and partners. The speed and coordination were historic... It took weeks and months to mount a decisive response", he added.
All About Daleep Singh
Regarding his Indian lineage, in a blog for the White House, Singh wrote, "my parents left India for America in the 1970s. I was born in Maryland, spent a few years in Chicago, and settled in North Carolina when I was about seven years old."
He is currently the deputy National Security Advisor for international economics and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council.
Singh studied at Duke University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and public policy.
He then did a dual Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration in international economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Adding to that impressive portfolio, Singh also worked as executive vice president for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, following which he was the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets under the Obama administration for a while.
Singh asserted to reporters at the White House on 22 February that "no Russian financial institution is safe if the invasion proceeds".
"We're fully blocking from the global financial system, the fifth largest Russian financial institution, VEB, is a glorified piggy bank for the Kremlin that holds more than USD 50 billion in assets. We're also fully blocking Promsvyazbank, this is a bank that holds USD 35 billion in assets that finances the activities of the Russian military", he added.