Barack Obama nominates Richard Verma as new US envoy to India

President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Indian-American, Richard Rahul Verma, as the next US Ambassador to India, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington later this month.

If confirmed by the US Senate, Verma, who earlier served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs and is now in the private sector, would be the first Indian-American to serve as the top US diplomatic position in New Delhi.

Obama announced his nomination along with several other key administration appointments.

“I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead,” Obama said in a statement.

The US Embassy in New Delhi is currently headed by a Charge d’affaires, Kathleen Stephens.

Verma, 45, said to be a close confidant of the President and also former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently serves as Senior Counselor at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and Albright Stonebridge Group. He is also a Senior National Security Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Previously, he was Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the Department of State from 2009 to 2011 and Partner at Steptoe and Johnson LLP from 2007 to 2009.