WASHINGTON, DC–President Donald Trump on Tuesday participated in the Diwali ceremonial lighting of the Diya at the White House.
Attended by top administration and Indian-American officials, Diwali ceremonial lighting was held on Nov. 13 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, India’s biggest and most important holiday, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. The festival, which coincides with the Hindu New Year, celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
The Diwali celebration at the White House was started by former President George W. Bush in 2003 and was carried on by his successor Barack Obama. Continuing the tradition, President Trump held the celebration at the Oval Office, where he lit a traditional lamp last year.
This year, however, he was caught up in the elections, which took place on Tuesday last week, and could not held the ceremony on actual Diwali day. He held the Diwali Diya lighting ceremony on Tuesday this week to mark Diwali.
The following individuals were in attendance:
The White House
President Donald J. Trump
Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President
Mira Ricardel, Deputy National Security Advisor
Raj Shah, Principal Deputy Press Secretary
Justin Clark, Director of the Office of Public Liaison
Neomi Rao, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Basant Sanghara, Director for India and Indian Ocean, National Security Council
Jennifer Wethey, Director for India, National Security Council
Neal Patel, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director of Management, Office of Management and Budget
Pranay Udutha, Policy Advisor, Office of the Senior Counselor
Air Force Technical (TSgt) Sergeant Dinesh Sheonath, White House Military Office
Manisha Singh, Acting Under Secretary of the Department of State
Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services
Uttam Dhillon, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration
Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
Neil Chatterjee, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Dimple Shah, Assistant Secretary for International Engagement of the Department of Homeland Security
Bimal Patel, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Financial Stability Oversight Council, Department of the Treasury
Vanila Singh, Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services
Pradeep Belur, Chief of Staff of the Small Business Administration
Gopal Khanna, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at the Department of Health and Human Services
Asheesh Agarwal, General Counsel of the Social Security Administration
Stacy Amin, Chief Counsel of the Food and Drug Administration
Garg Arjun, Chief Counsel of the Federal Transit Administration at the Department of Transportation
Rajive Mathur, Deputy Commissioner and Systems/Chief Info Officer at the Social Security Administration
Gurjeet Guram, Senior Advisor, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Lathika Thomas, Senior Counselor in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice
H.E. Ambassador Navtej Sarna, Ambassador of India to the United States
Dr. Avina Sarna, Spouse of the Ambassador of India to the United States
Mr. Pratik Mathur, First Secretary & Special Assistant to the Ambassador.