Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, is the first Indian American to be elected Governor in the United States. Born in 1971, Jindal started his career in politics while attending Brown University, simultaneously working as an intern for Congressman Jim McCrery. In 1991, he went to Oxford University to study healthcare systems and later worked for the state of Louisiana.
In 2001, Jindal became the assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services for President George W. Bush. He won his second bid for Governor of Louisiana in 2007.
Born to Indian immigrants, Bobby Jindal was brought up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Influenced by one of the daily sitcom characters as a child, Jindal changed his first name from ‘Piyush’ to ‘Bobby’. At 25, working for the consulting firm McKinsey and company during the mid-1990s, Jindal landed in his first job in 1996 as the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
The department was in deep financial snag when he took over. However during his tenure, Jindal exposed numerous frauds thus saving the face of healthcare system. In 1998, Jindal served as the executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare in Washington D.C. He was later appointed as the president of the University of Louisiana System.
In 2001, as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Jindal, now 30, joined the administration of President George W. Bush. A couple of years later, he resigned from the post, returning back to Louisiana to bid for elections. Having failed to secure the governorship, Jindal did not wallow in his defeat. In 2004, he campaigned for the U.S. House of Representatives and won the elections.
While in the House, Jindal served on several committees, including the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and also worked hard to pass legislation supporting Louisiana’s recovery after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.
In 2007, Jindal once again campaigned for Governor of Louisiana and won the elections with an unprecedented 54 per cent of the vote in first round. In 2011, he won again in first round balloting, with an impressive 66 per cent of the vote. Not long after occupying the office, Jindal started to tackle ethics and business-related issues prevailing in the system.
Jindal helped Louisiana overcoming another hurricane disaster in 2008. Even before the storm took over the region, he commissioned the evacuation of roughly 1.9 million people thus earning widespread praise which continued when he steered his state through the devastating BP oil spill of 2010.
In 2011, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) awarded Jindal with the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award for ‘outstanding public service’ followed by his appearance in a TIME magazine article in 2012 where he was listed as a possible Republican candidate for the 2016 presidency.
Bobby Jindal continues to serve as one of the most rounded Republican Governor in the US. Jindal is strongly pro-life and a proponent of legal immigration. He is also a strong supporter of gun rights. But he strongly opposes President Obama’s stimulus bills and Obamacare.
As Governor, Jindal has implemented the largest income tax cut in Louisiana’s history and has started reducing taxes on businesses.