Kenneth I Juster, the top economic aide of US President Donald Trump, will be America’s new ambassador to New Delhi, the White House said in a statement. He will replace Richard Verma after his nomination is confirmed by the Senate.
The move comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit United States on June 26.
Juster, 62, an expert on India is presently serving as the Deputy Assistant to the US President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of his National Economic Council.
“Ken Juster’s move to Indian Ambassador is because he is extremely qualified for the position,” White House deputy spokesperson Lindsay E Walters confirmed told Indian Media.
“Ken has a strong and positive relationship with everyone in the White House, including the president,” Walters said.
The move has been welcomed by widely respected Ashley Telis, the top India expert in the US.
“Ken knows India well and actually was deeply involved in successful bilateral negotiations between the two countries. The Indians will welcome him enthusiastically. He is a known quantity,” Tellis told The Washington Post.
However, an official announcement has not been made yet. The White House confirmation in this regard puts to rest all the speculation.
Verma, the first Indian-American to head this position, put in his papers when Trump replaced Barack Obama as the President of the US.
Juster, a lawyer from Harvard has deep experience working on India policy issues and the US-India ties.
As a senior Commerce Department official during the George W Bush administration, he served as the US chair of the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group, and was one of the key architects of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership initiative between the US and India.