Even within the phenomenal wave of Indian Americans succeeding in politics, Bhavna Pandit stands out. At 31, she is the Managing Partner of a Democratic political consulting firm in Washington DC that bears her name: Pandit Strategic Consulting (PSC).
A native of New Orleans and graduate of Louisiana State University (where she was part of Leadership LSU’s class of 2001), Pandit got her start working on campaigns around her home state, including Gore 2000. She was also National Committeewoman for the Young Democrats of Louisiana.
Before establishing PSC, Pandit was the Democratic Political Director for the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), one of the largest Trade Associations in Washington DC and among one of the top ten PACs in the nation. Prior to that, she was a Deputy Finance Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), under the leadership of former House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt.
At PSC, Pandit has her plate full: She oversees the Washington DC and national fundraising strategy for Democratic members of Congress, candidates running for office, and Political Action Committees. She builds relationships with PACs as well as donors across the country for Congressional clients. She is a liaison between members of Congress and the business community in Washington. And she advises individuals and companies on political and business strategy. Pandit has worked closely with the Indian American community for ten years and has seen that side of her portfolio flourish recently as more Indian American candidates step forward to put their hat in the ring.
What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever gotten and from whom?
When a problem comes up don’t waste a lot of time talking about it and what went wrong, instead focus on fixing it and finding a solution – Grish Roy Pandit, my pops.
What do you consider your greatest professional success?
Helping to cultivate a national network of South Asian donors and politicos. Laying this groundwork and infrastructure is critical to ensure the future political growth of the Indian community.
What do you consider your greatest personal failure?
Time management of my personal life. Around the heat of election time or fundraising deadlines I get consumed by the day to day and have a hard time balancing work with my personal life.
Novel: The Godfather
Song: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. It gets me pumped up for LSU Games and Election Day!
Film: The Godfather part II
TV Show: Modern Family
Painter: George Rodrigue
Athlete: Drew Brees – New Orleans SAINTS QB
How would you define love?
Laughter, trust and the ability to be completely uninhibited with someone.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?
Getting rid of corruption in politics. It’s rampant and hinders progress.
Describe your perfect day.
Family +close friends + good food + wine = perfection!
Tell us one thing we don’t know about, but we should.
I was born in London and when I found out in Elementary school that you had to be born in the US to run for President I was upset and sulked for days. Now I know better!
What is your greatest extravagance?
It’s definitely indulging in the food scene when I go home to New Orleans. NOLA has some of the best food in the world, which combined with my mom’s Indian cooking is something I can’t help but take advantage of when I go home!
What would you most like to accomplish going forward?
Continuing to help build the brand of Indian Americans as a growing force of influence and power in politics. This includes getting more Indian Americans elected to Office on the Federal and State wide level.
If you could get your news from only one source from now on, what/who would it be?
Twitter – so I can follow all my favorite sites on one place.
List three things you cannot live without.
My family, Blackberry, good food.
What is the strangest number you have programmed into your phone?