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Indian-origin US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has been honoured with the Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of his outstanding career and dedication to public service.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White presented the award to the 48-year-old Democratic leader who has been serving as the US representative for Illinois's 8th congressional district since 2017.

“In honour of your outstanding career and dedication to public service, I present you with the one-of-a-kind personalised license plate: 'RAJA'.

“I hope it serves as a reminder of our gratitude for your exceptional service to this state and our nation. Again, congratulations on receiving the Distinguished Leadership Award," White said in a citation while presenting the award to Krishnamoorthi last week.

The Congressman said it was a true honour to receive an award for leadership from a man of Secretary White’s character and record.

“It strikes me that getting an award for leadership from Jesse White is like having Michael Jordan tell you he likes your jump shot. Regardless of the uniform he’s worn or office he’s held, Secretary White has been a trailblazer, never caring about who gets the credit, only what difference is made for the better," Krishnamoorthi said.

“We’ve seen that during his tenure as Illinois's most successful and longest-serving Secretary of State, in the General Assembly, and as a community leader in countless other endeavours, notably as a mentor and coach," he said.

It is fitting that an organisation that bears his name embodies so much of his character as the Jesse White Tumbling Team has helped change more than 18,000 young people’s lives for the better since he founded it in 1959, the Congressman said.

“I’m grateful for this award and for the inspiration Secretary White has provided and continues to provide for everyone committed to public service," Krishnamoorthi said.

According to the citation, Krishnamoorthi’s dedication to public service for more than two decades is worthy of recognition.

“You have dedicated your life to serving Illinois in various capacities. You have been part of the Attorney General’s office as a special assistant attorney general, a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority and a deputy state treasurer.

“As a member of the US House of Representatives, you have passed legislation influencing education, job training, workforce development and public health initiatives. You have been an advocate of good government, the need to increase national security and the necessity of expanding international relations," the citation reads.

Krishnamoorthi was born into a Tamil-speaking family in New Delhi. His family moved to the US when he was three months old.

“Your personal journey has been an inspiration to those in Illinois and throughout the United States. Born in India, your family moved to Buffalo, New York, to pursue their dreams and to provide you with a wealth of opportunities.

“In Peoria, Illinois, you received your high school education and graduated as valedictorian from Peoria Richwoods High School. Your educational path took you to Princeton University and Harvard Law School, where you graduated with honours. Your remarkable work ethic and achievements prepared you to accomplish great things as a member of Congress," White added in his citation.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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