Beena Ishwar Patel is an American medical practitioner of Indian descent, but who is probably best known as the wife of popular comedian, producer, TV host, and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of the Year in 2019, Hasan Minhaj.
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Early life and educational background
Little is known about Beena, as she has chosen to stay away from the public eye. Even her exact birthdate is unknown, probably in 1985, and it was only recently that people had an idea that it was on February 1 when Hasan posted a birthday greeting on his Instagram account. She was born to parents named Ishwar and Sandhya, and has a brother named Surag and a sister-in-law named Monique. She is assumed to be in her mid-30s just like her husband, whom she first met in college.
From the little information that is available about her early life, she was known to be a smart girl and was active in school activities.
Even before she matriculated from high school in 2003, she was already fluent in 4 languages – English, Gujarati, Hindi and Spanish. Beena supported her schooling by working on different jobs throughout college. She graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Neurology, Physiology and Behavior at the University of California, Davis – School of Medicine. After a year, she earned her Master’s degree in Public Health, and in 2013, she achieved her Doctorate on Health Policy and Management.
With her exemplary academic achievements, she was able to easily seek employment with prominent health care institutions in California. Her first job after her post-graduate degrees was in Retinal Consultants in Sacramento as a Clinical Research Coordinator.
This experience made it possible for her to interact with huge pharmaceutical companies such as Avastin and Lucentis. Beena’s first big break came in October of 2008 when she was given an opportunity to be a Clinical Operations Analyst then later on as an Account Manager in Cave Consulting Group, a software and health consulting company. She was able to deal with top-tier health care institutions such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the National Quality Forum.
In October of 2010, she started working with UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and also became the Program Director for the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team when she joined the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
Currently, she is affiliated with two health companies in New York.
Another day another red carpet. Makeup for Beena Patel by MARIA MAIO MAKEUP ARTIST @maiostein for NRDC Annual Night of…
One is MedAmerica where she works as Practice Management Consultant since 2013, and the other one is Vituity (formerly known as CEP America) where she is a Senior Transformational Consultant for almost 3 years now. MedAmerica is under the Vituity group of companies but continue to provide health care services under its original name.
Beena met her husband, Hasan Minhaj, when she was studying in college. He had a huge crush on her, and they dated for a few years before tying the knot on 3 January 2015. Hasan wasn’t yet successful when he proposed to her – he was still doing pizza commercials and open mic stand-up comedy gigs at the time. The engagement ring he bought took a toll on his savings, and so his method of proposal was bought from a Groupon package.
It was supposed to be a romantic air balloon proposal, but it was ruined by other couples doing the same thing at the same time. He never got to pop the question until they were driving back home, of course the answer was ‘yes’.
Who is Hasan Minhaj?
Hasan Minhaj is a successful Indian-American comedian, producer, and TV host. His family immigrated to the United States from India in the 1980s, and he was born and raised in Davis, California. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the same university in the same year as his wife. His ticket to fame was his stint as a senior correspondent in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2014. He received a call to audition, and he initially panicked because he didn’t have any new material.
On the day before the scheduled audition, Ben Affleck and Bill Maher had a controversial heated debate on TV about Islam on the Maher’s show, and Minhaj immediately developed a sketch called Batman vs. Bill Maher, and it earned him the last spot of new hires in “The Daily Show”. From then on, he continued to spark interest not only from the viewers but from colleagues as well. Hasan had his first comedy special on Netflix, entitled “Homecoming King”, which premiered on 23 March 2017.
As he gained popularity, he was invited to important national events; he was given hosting duties at the annual Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in 2016, and was the keynote speaker at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2017. He left Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” in 2018, and currently can be seen in the popular weekly show aired on Netflix, entitled “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj”, which he helped develope and produce along with his creative team.
In 2019, he was chosen as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of the Year.
Relationship and Marriage
Beena and Hasan are both very traditional in their views on relationships. Even though they had been dating for a few years already, they decided not to live together until they married. However, the relationship was not without obstacles – while both are Indian-Americans, they have been practicing different religions, as Beena is Hindu while Hasan is Muslim. Interfaith marriage for Muslim men is only allowed if they marry non-Islam believers such as Christians or Jews. The easiest way to avoid conflict was for her to convert to the Muslim faith, however, Beena was no pushover, and stood her ground. Hasan said in an interview with The New York Times that there are just two fundamental things a person should be adamant in pursuing.
One is to be whoever you want to become in life, and two is to follow your heart in choosing the one you want to spend your whole life with. Eventually, parents of both sides relented and the couple were able to have a huge Indian wedding to celebrate their union. The couple had to adapt to a new lifestyle when they moved to New York. Due to the limited budget they had around the time they tied the knot, Beena transformed their walk-in closet into her office. While that is a normal thing with New Yorkers, it was a shocker to their family and friends back in Los Angeles. From his New York Times interview, he said that friends back in California told his wife, ‘Why are you living in a closet? You don’t deserve this, Beena.’
The couple has one daughter whose name is still a well-guarded secret. Hasan just shared this good news on 23 April 2018 and posted a photo of the baby’s foot on his Instagram account.
Beena spent a lot of her time in looking for ways to help homeless veterans when she was in Los Angeles. Her commitment to her advocacy was highlighted in her dissertation entitled, “Complex Care Management to Decrease Emergency Department Utilization: A Case Study of the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team Demonstration Project,” where she wrote ‘I also dedicate this dissertation to the heroes of our nation who find themselves homeless. I hope that this is one of many scholarly works to shed light on their experience in an effort to give them a voice’.
She is rarely seen in public except when she joins her husband in important formal events, such as the White House Correspondents Dinner, TIME 100 Gala Night, and other award shows.
Happy birthday to the queen and this giant cake that looks like a live peacock. I love you. pic.twitter.com/ul2R76E9mw
— Hasan Minhaj (@hasanminhaj) February 1, 2020
Even her Instagram account is set on private, and so it is only through Hassan’s IG account that we can get an updated photo of her. There are conflicting reports about her height, but Hassan described her as a 5ft 2ins (1.58m) tall Indian girl in his interview with Jimmy Kimmel. She weighs about 123lbs (56kgs), and has glowing olive skin, black eyes, and long black hair.
Net worth, salary, significant inputs
The salary of an average health professional in America is about $50,000. While there are no specific details on Beena’s financial records, she has been successfully employed by huge health institutions after getting her post graduate degrees. With that kind of resume, sources estimated her net worth to be around $450,000 with a salary of about $95,000. Her successful husband has an estimated net worth of about $4 million, and it is of no doubt that they are living a very comfortable life together.