Keshap has negotiated or advanced bilateral and multilateral initiatives at senior levels with counterparts from the EU, UN, ASEAN, APEC, and governments across the world
US’ newly-appointed Charge’d Affairs in India Atul Keshap said he will work to “further strengthen the warm and dynamic US-India partnerships”.
Keshap, whose message following his appointment began with a ‘Namaste’, will serve in Delhi following the retirement of Ambassador Daniel Smith.
Namaste! My name is Atul Keshap, and it is my honor to serve as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission in India. As a proud Indian-American, it is my privilege to work with all of you as we further strengthen the warm and dynamic #USIndia partnership.
— Chargé d’Affaires Atul Keshap (@USAmbIndia) July 2, 2021
Keshap is likely to hold fort till US President Joe Biden gets his nominations for ambassadorships approved by the Senate. Reports in June had speculated that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti may become new the ambassador to India.
Where has the career diplomat served?
The 50-year-old diplomat has served at postings in India, Morocco, Guinea, and as United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives in his career of nearly three decades. He had joined the foreign service in 1994.
The Indian-American previously served at the US Embassy New Delhi and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia. 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.
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.
What has Keshap accomplished in his career?
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.
He has also received the following 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.
Keshap was born in June 1971 in Nigeria to Punjab-born Dr Keshap Chander Sen, who served as a UN development economist.
His mother Calvert had earlier served in the US Foreign Service. Along with his three siblings, Keshap grew up across countries like Lesotho, Zambia, Afghanistan and Austria.
Keshap’s wife Karen is also a foreign service officer and they have a son and three daughters.
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