Who I happen to know and who got his PhD in economics and computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is now being identified in the media as Gopalan Balachandron, which puts his last name first. I knew him as a grad student when Kamala's dad, Don Harris, was on the UW faculty, and he was "Bala Gopalan" to all of us, a very witty and cosmopolitan guy. When I saw him on the news, now 80 years old and living in Delhi and praising the selection of Kamala as Dem VP candidate, I was not sure it was him, but quick checking established it is. I finally also remembered somebody bringing it up that he was Don's brother-in-law, only two years older than him, but he did not want to talk about it, this being when the marriage of Don and Bala's sister was going down the tubes.
The news reports have it that when he was working most recently he was working for an Indian government-related think tank called the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis in its American Affairs section. I also saw one report referring to him as "Prof." which makes me think he was an academic for awhile, but I lost track of him after he left Madison, except for hearing from a common old friend of ours in Chennai that Bala "works for the government in Delhi." But I guess not anymore. It strikes me that if Biden-Harris win, Bala might become an important diplomatic player.
It also strikes me that if Kamals's dad, Don Harris, continues to lay low and essentially not support her, I could imagine Uncle Bala getting brought in to provide some male family support. I bet he could handle the media well. He is quite a character and very sharp as well as articulate.