Richard Verma creates history by becoming the first Indian American U.S. Ambassador to India

In a historical move, President Barack Obama nominated former state department official Richard Verma, an Indian-American, as the next US ambassador to India.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Verma served in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. In that capacity, he was Secretary of State Clinton’s principal advisor on congressional affairs and successfully led the department through a number of key budget and policy-related battles. He played a lead role in securing the Senate’s ratification of the New START Treaty with Russia, guided nearly 200 Presidential nominees through the Senate confirmation process, and oversaw and managed the Administration’s response to several major congressional investigations. He was also the lead U.S. Administration negotiator handling the development and passage of the most recent set of comprehensive sanctions against Iran.

Verma Rich DC 300 DPIIt was widely expected that America would announce a new ambassador to New Delhi before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US this month. With Richard Verma’s appointment as ambassador in Delhi, US state department’s South Asia desk, which oversees relations with India, will have a very major Indian touch  to it. Nisha Biswal, an Indian-American from Gujarat, heads the desk and Atul Keshap, also of Indian descent — who served at the US embassy in Delhi, is one of her assistant deputy secretaries.

But Verma is not moving to Delhi anytime soon. His nomination has to be confirmed by Senate, where, however, he is not expected to encounter any major trouble or delay. He currently serves as senior counselor at Steptoe & Johnson and the Albright Stonebridge Group, founded and run by Bill Clinton administration officials including Madeline Albright.

Verma is also a senior national security fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington DC think tank.

Reference: Hindustan Times

USINPAC hosts a delegation of U.S. Foreign Policy Journalists

A prominent group of journalists from India visited the USINPAC headquarters to understand and know more about the organization. The delegation was warmly received and hosted by USINPAC members. The event comprised of a session explaining in detail how USINPAC functions as an organization followed by a grand dinner.

IMG_20140909_134152The purpose of the delegation’s visit can be divided into the following points:

  •  To Demystify America and provide a first-hand glimpse of the United States to key opinion-makers in India’s influential and booming vernacular press.
  •  Examine how the U.S. international affairs community is structured, by interacting with public and private sector representatives who are instrumental in the foreign policy cycle.
  •  Examine how policies are formulated and implemented under diverse and dynamic influences, by meeting with members of the Executive and Legislative branches to discuss decision-making dynamics.
  •  Explore the human rights component of U.S. foreign policy and the efforts of public and private sector organizations that address international and domestic human rights issues, by illustrating strategies used by NGOs and federal, state, and local governments to formulate and influence human rights policy in the United States.

To see the event in pictures, click here