Atul Keshap appointed interim envoy to India: Old state department hand has an Indian connection

Atul Keshap appointed interim envoy to India: Old state department hand has an Indian connection

Atul Keshap appointed interim envoy to India: Old state department hand has an Indian connection

The US has appointed career diplomat Atul Keshap as the country’s Charge’d Affairs in Delhi.

“Ambassador Keshap’s appointment will reinforce the close US partnership with the Government and people of India, demonstrated by our collaboration to overcome global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic,” the state department said in a statement on Tuesday.

As per the statement, Keshap will be departing for New Delhi to serve as Charge d'Affaires, ad interim, following the retirement of Ambassador Daniel Smith.

The 50-year-old has served as an American diplomat for nearly three decades at postings in India, Morocco, Guinea, and as United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

What's his India connection?

  • Keshap, an Indian-American, is an old India hand at the state department.
  • He previously served at the US Embassy New Delhi and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia.

Where has he served?

He most recently served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

He has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, a US Senior Official for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and as an Office Director in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.

As per his state department profile, Keshap as ambassador has negotiated or advanced bilateral and multilateral initiatives at senior levels with counterparts from the European Union, United Nations, ASEAN, APEC, and governments across the Indo-Pacific, West Asia, Africa, and North and South America.

Keshap also served at the defence department as the National Defense University’s Vice Chancellor for the College of International Security Affairs.

Earlier in his career, he served as Director for North Africa and Middle East regional affairs on the National Security Council staff in the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

Honours and awards

  • In 2019, he received a Presidential Meritorious Rank Award.
  • In 2018 Keshap received the Distinguished Honor Award (one of the state department’s highest honours) in recognition of his leadership in advancing US interests in the Indian Ocean region.
  • He has also been awarded numerous individual state department Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, and six senior executive performance pay awards.

With inputs from PTI