US President Barack Obama has chosen for the first time a Bangladeshi-origin woman for his 14-member advisory commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
The nominee, Dr N Nina Ahmad, is co-owner and Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for JNA Capital, Inc, a Philadelphia-based real estate finance and development company.
"Humbled/honoured to serve on President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders," Ahmad tweeted on Friday in her reaction.
The commission members will advise the president on innovative ways to engage AAPIs across the US and to improve their health, education, environment, and well-being.
"I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have agreed to join this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years," Obama said in a statement.
A native of Bangladesh, Dr Ahmad resides in Mt Airy neighbourhood of Philadelphia with her husband Ahsan Nasratullah and two daughters.
She received a BS in Chemistry from the Lawrence Institute of Technology and a PhD in biological chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990.
She discovered the first direct evidence of collagen type II gene mutation in the Stickler syndrome (joint-eye disease), which expanded the field by providing a starting point for molecular genetic research into the generalised disease of osteoarthritis.
Ahmad now serves as the administrator of Global City Regional Center, LLC, a position she has held since May 2013.
From 1992 to 2005, Dr Ahmad served as Bower Research Fellow and then held a joint assistant professorship at Wills Eye Hospital and at the ophthalmology department of Jefferson Medical College. During that time, Dr Ahmad also served as the director of Molecular Biology for the Research Department of Wills Eye Hospital.
She is active in the Asian American community of Philadelphia and of the Tri-state area. In 2009, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia appointed her Chair of the city's Commission on Asian American Affairs.
In 2011, she joined the Philadelphia Foundation's Board of Managers.
She is founding member of APA for Progress, a grassroots, internet-empowered, national network of Asian Pacific Americans and friends for Progressive Action, and also president of PrymeJenomix, LLC, an emerging ophthalmic biotechnology company based in Philadelphia.