Ro Khanna

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Ro Khanna
File:Ropicture.jpg
Born (1976-09-13) September 13, 1976 (age 42)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Chicago, Yale Law School
Occupation lawyer
author
politician
university lecturer
Known for Former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the United States Department of Commerce

Rohit "Ro" Khanna (born September 13, 1976) is an American teacher, lawyer and politician. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the United States Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama. Khanna is a member of the Democratic Party and was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States House of Representatives in California's 17th congressional district in 2014. In 2015 Khanna announced that he will again run for United States House of Representatives in California's 17th congressional district.[1]

Early life

Khanna's maternal grandfather, Amarnath Vidyalankar, was part of Gandhi's independence movement working with Lala Lajpat Rai and spent years in jail in the pursuit of human rights and freedom.[2][3][4]

Rohit Khanna's parents emigrated to the United States from India before his birth. His father is a chemical engineer who graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the University of Michigan, and his mother is a former substitute school teacher.[5] Khanna was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1976. He received his B.A. degree in economics with honors from the University of Chicago in 1998, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.[5][6][7] He attended Yale Law School, receiving his law degree in 2001. He specializes in intellectual property law.[8]

Career

As a student at the University of Chicago, Khanna worked for William D. Burns walking precincts during Barack Obama's first campaign for the Illinois Senate in 1996.[9][10][11] Khanna interned for Jack Quinn when Quinn served as the Chief of Staff for Vice President Al Gore.[12]

President Barack Obama appointed Khanna to a role in the United States Department of Commerce in 2009.[6] In his role as deputy assistant secretary,[13] Khanna led international trade missions[14] and worked to increase United States exports.[15] He was later appointed to the White House Business Council.[13] Khanna resigned from the Department of Commerce in August 2011 to join Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a law firm located in Silicon Valley.[16] His pro bono legal activity includes work with the Mississippi Center for Justice on several contractor fraud cases on behalf of Hurricane Katrina victims and co-authoring an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in the Mt. Holly case to allow for race discrimination suits under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.[17][18]

Khanna teaches economics at Stanford University and law at the Santa Clara University School of Law,[5] and has taught American Jurisprudence at San Francisco State University.[19] He wrote a book on American competitiveness in business, Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America's Future, which was published in 2012.[13][20] Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, appointed Khanna to the California Workforce Investment Board in 2012.[21]

Khanna ran one of the nation's first anti-Iraq war campaigns for the United States House of Representatives in the 2004 elections, unsuccessfully challenging Tom Lantos in the Democratic primary in California's 12th congressional district.[22] He received endorsements from prominent officials, including Matt Gonzalez,[22] and newspapers, including the San Mateo County Times,[23] but lost.[24]

Khanna intended to run for the House in California's 15th congressional district in the 2012 election, hoping to succeed Democrat Pete Stark after Stark's eventual retirement, though stating he would not challenge Stark directly.[25] He raised $1.2 million, receiving support from Governor Brown, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo, and businessmen Vinod Khosla and John W. Thompson.[25] Khanna's fundraising total for the fourth quarter of 2011 exceeded that of all but two House candidates nationwide.[12] Eric Swalwell defeated Stark in 2012.[26]

On April 2, 2013, Khanna announced that he would challenge Mike Honda for California's 17th congressional district in the 2014 midterm elections.[27] Khanna has assembled a campaign team composed of top members of President Obama's re-election team, including Jeremy Bird, Obama's 2012 national field director, and Steve Spinner, one of Obama's top-three fundraisers.[28] Khanna has been backed by executives at Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other tech companies,[29] and by the editorial boards of the San Jose Mercury News,[30] the San Francisco Chronicle,[31] the Oakland Tribune,[32] and the Contra Costa Times.[33] Khanna earned the endorsement of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed,[34] and has also won the endorsement from the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.[35]

A lawsuit was filed before Sacramento County Superior Court, alleging Khanna had recruited candidates with similar names to enter the race as Republicans to split the Republican vote three ways, effectively diluting votes that would otherwise be cast in favor of Vanila Singh. On March 28, 2014, the Court disqualified one of the candidates, Vinesh Singh Rathore, but did not find Khanna responsible in connection with the disqualification.[36]

On November 4, 2014, Congressman Mike Honda defeated Khanna 69,561 (51.8%) votes to 64,847 (48.2%).

Khanna's campaign was largely funded by many of the technology industry's biggest names, including Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Napster founder Sean Parker, investor Marc Andreessen and venture capitalist Steve Westly.[37]

Ro Khanna is currently a Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Smart Utility Systems, an energy efficiency company with an office in Santa Clara. Smart Utility Systems produces software for water conservation and for reducing electricity consumption.[38][39]

In June 2015 Khanna announced his intention to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in California's 17th congressional district.[40]

Electoral history in the U.S. House of Representatives

United States House of Representatives elections, 2014[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike Honda (incumbent) 69,561 51.8
Democratic Ro Khanna 64,847 48.2
Total votes 134,408 100
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold

Personal life

Khanna resides in Fremont, California with his wife Ritu Ahuja.[25][42]

Bibliography

References

  1. Merl, Jean (2015-05-28). "Ro Khanna plans another crack at unseating fellow Democrat Mike Honda". LA Times. Retrieved 2016-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Ro Khanna profile". RoKhanna.com. Retrieved January 27, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Obama Taps Fremont Man, Ro Khanna's Selection Heartens Indo-American Community". San Jose Mercury News. August 8, 2009. p. 1C. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  7. Jouvenal, Justin (January 14, 2004). "Young hopeful touts vision". San Mateo County Times. Retrieved April 4, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  8. Boudreau, John (August 7, 2009). "Obama taps Fremont man for tech post". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved January 27, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
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  10. Jaffe, Alexandra. "Top 5 House primaries to watch". Thehill.com. Retrieved July 16, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Margarita Lacabe (posted) (August 26, 2013). "Ro Khanna: A Political Portrait". Sanleandrotalk.voxpublica.org. Retrieved May 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Silicon Valley Democrat tops in fundraising, even though he's not running yet". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Marinucci, Carla. "Honda v. Khanna: Could Silicon Valley be ground zero for 2014 House Asian-American battle royale?". Blog.sfgate.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  15. "Government helping firms expand exports". Charlotte Observer. May 21, 2010. p. 8A. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  16. Boudreau, John (August 20, 2011). "Ex-U.S. Commerce official from Bay Area believes government can help, not hinder economy". The Argus. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  17. Kamisugi, Keith (2013-11-05). "Brief Filed with Supreme Court in Mt. Holly Case Says Implicit Bias a Major Cause of Housing Discrimination". Equal Justice Society. Retrieved 2016-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. http://www.omm.com/newsroom/news.aspx?news=1271
  19. http://www.clubrunner.ca/portal/story/StoryDetail.aspx?accountid=3975&sid=293676&stid=
  20. Sweet, Ken (August 13, 2012). "Former Obama Official Says Manufacturing Should be a National Security Issue". Forbes.com. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Ross, Andrew S. (August 29, 2012). "Governor staffs up job investment panel". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 27, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 Jouvenal, Justin (January 17, 2004). "City Supervisor endorses Khanna". San Mateo County Times. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  23. Traubman, Libby; Traubman, Len (February 17, 2004). "We can entrust America with Khanna's principles". San Mateo County Times. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  24. "Rep. Mike Honda digs in against potential challenger Ro Khanna". Inside Bay Area. February 4, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer (January 20, 2012). "Pete Stark may put Ro Khanna's rise on hold". SFGate. Retrieved January 24, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Molly Redden (December 5, 2012). "Eric Swalwell, Pete Stark's Young Vanquisher, Gets Oriented". Tnr.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Richman, Josh. "Silicon Valley Congressional battle takes shape: Ro Khanna to challenge Mike Honda, using Obama campaign operatives". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  29. Onishi, Norimitsu (February 5, 2014) "Tech Industry Flexes Muscle in California Race." New York Times; retrieved September 2, 2014.
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  33. Contra Costa Times/Oakland Tribune. "June 2014 election recommendations from the Contra Costa Times/Oakland Tribune editorial board". ContraCostaTimes.com. Retrieved May 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Chuck Reed endorses Ro Khanna, mercurynews.com; accessed December 1, 2014.
  35. Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce endorses Ro Khanna over Mike Honda, mercurynews.com; accessed December 1, 2014.
  36. "Indian-American Vinesh Singh Rathore ousted from Congressional race". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved March 29, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. Rucker, Philip (2014-06-02). "In Silicon Valley, tech titans try to replace a longtime Democratic congressman". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. Richman, Josh (2015-01-26). "Political Blotter: Ro Khanna's new job, Mike Honda's pick for Senate, and Chris Christie in California". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2016-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "SUS : Company : Our Management Team". Smartusys.com. Retrieved 2016-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  41. Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Representative in Congress," (retrieved 22 January 2014)
  42. "Ritu Ahuja and Rohit Khanna". New York Times2015. 2015-08-15. Retrieved 2016-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links