Nikki Haley appoints Indian American as chief of staff

Washington, Aug 20 (IANS) South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has appointed Indian-American Swati S. Patel as her new chief of staff.

Patel, who served as chief legal counsel for the Indian-origin governor since 2011, is a veteran of two gubernatorial administrations. She will succeed James Burns on September 1, The Post and Courier daily reported on Wednesday.

Burns had recently announced plans to return to Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough LLP law firm, where he was a partner before joining Haley’s office in 2014.

“I can’t think of anyone who is more widely respected or uniquely qualified to lead our team than Swati Patel,” The State quoted Haley as saying.

Patel has also worked as legal counsel to former governor and US Representative for South Carolina’s first congressional district, Mark Sanford during portions of his two terms in office.

“Swati’s steady leadership as legal counsel has strengthened our staff, guided our administration and helped us deliver results to the people of South Carolina – and, as chief of staff, Swati will keep that momentum going,” Haley added.

Holly Pisarik, special assistant to state department of social services director Susan Alford, will succeed Patel as Haley’s chief legal counsel.

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