Indian-origin Raj Shah gets role in Trump communications team

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-origin American Raj Shah to a key position in his communications team. "Raj Shah will serve as deputy assistant to the President and principal deputy press secretary," the White House said in a statement.

Trump also appointed his confidant Hope Hicks as his communications director. Hicks, one of President Trump's longest serving advisers working in the White House, was formally given a title that accurately describes the role she has played for years, according to The New York Times.

Hicks previously served as assistant to the President and interim communications director, while Shah formerly served as deputy assistant to the President and deputy communications director.

Mercedes Schlapp, a Fox News contributor and columnist for The Washington Times, will serve as assistant to the President and senior advisor for strategic communications. Trump also appointed Steven Cheung as director of strategic response.

Cheung previously served as special assistant to the President and assistant communications director.

Shah, 32, was one of the few handful of Trump's aides who landed in the White House within hours of him being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on 20 January, PTI reports.

In April he was identified as one of the three West Wing power players in the White House along with Hope Hicks and Eli Miller.

Shah was born and raised in Connecticut after his parents migrated to the US in 1980s. His parents are from Gujarat. His father, an engineer by profession, moved to Mumbai at a young age while his mother hails from Bhujpur in Kutch.

Shah was director of opposition research in the Republican National Committee before moving to the White House.