An Indian-American woman has been honoured with a Presidential award by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for her extraordinary contribution towards combatting human trafficking in Houston.
Minal Patel Davis, Special Advisor on Human Trafficking to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, received the 'Presidential Medal for Combating Human Trafficking' in the White House last week at a ceremony also attended by President Donald Trump.
Now we honor my special adviser on human trafficking, Minal Patel Davis. She received a presidential medal at the White House last week for her groundbreaking work against sex slavery and labor exploitation. pic.twitter.com/WvIHEPA8dP— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) October 17, 2018
"It was unbelievable," said Ms Davis after winning the award, the country's highest honour in the field.
"My parents came here from India. I was the first one in my family born in the United States, so to end up in the Mayor's office a few years ago, and then to now end up in the White House, it was unbelievable," she said.
Appointed in July 2015, Ms Davis has made a local impact on human trafficking in America's fourth largest city from a policy-level perspective and by helped in advancing systems change.
She is currently implementing Mayor Turner's Anti-Human Trafficking Strategic Plan, which is the first comprehensive municipal response to human trafficking by a US city.
Ms Davis has spoken at several local, national and international panels and presented Houston city's approach.
She is a past speaker at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit and recently travelled to India and Canada at the request of the State Department to discuss municipal leadership in trafficking with the government officials.
She did her MBA from the University of Connecticut and BA from New York University.