It appears that President-elect Donald Trump has someone in mind who take over the position of United States ambassador to India, as Richard Verma would depart on January 20, the day Trump takes over as US President.
According to Washington Post, Trump would appoint Mumbai-born Ashley Tellis as the next United States ambassador to India. The post has described Tellis as a “renowned India expert” and quoted transition sources as saying he could be picked as US ambassador in New Delhi, in its article titled ‘Trump could make Obama’s pivot to Asia a reality.’
“On the ambassadorial level, Trump’s Asia appointments are outpacing those for other regions and include top Asia hands. Transition sources said Trump is close to selecting Ashley Tellis, a former White House official and renowned India expert, to be the next U.S. ambassador to India,” the report said. However, it is worth noting that there has been concern that Trump has not appointed anyone yet with Asia expertise to a senior position on his team.
“Behind the scenes, however, the Trump transition is preparing its own pivot to Asia. As the team that will implement that policy takes shape, what’s emerging is an approach that harkens back to past Republican administrations – but also seeks to actualize the Obama administration’s ambition of enhancing the U.S. presence in the region,” said the report.
The fifty-five-year-old Tellis is currently a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace one of Washington think-tank. It has been said that he has played as an important role in the US’ engagement with India, including working on the civil nuclear agreement between the two countries.
Earlier, Tellis has served in New Delhi as a senior adviser to the US ambassador, and have also worked as the US National Security Council staff as special assistant to the president and a senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia.
Ashley Tellis grew up in India and got a master’s degree from the University of Bombay before getting a PhD from the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books.