The former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma has taken a position at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.
As the first Indian-American and 25th U.S. ambassador to India, Verma took over the New Delhi office just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his first state visit to the White House in December 2014. During the two years in which Modi and Obama appeared to have developed a strong one-on-one friendship, Verma oversaw 9 meetings and 3 summits between the two leaders. Some 100 new initiatives and 40 government-to-government dialogues took place during his two years in office. Verma resigned soon after President Donald Trump took office.
Verma will help support Georgetown’s India Initiative under the Centennial Fellows program. The India Initiative is seen as a signature program to advance research and teaching around India, world affairs and the United States, the GWU said in its press release.
Having served on Capitol Hill and the State Department as well as in the U.S. Air Force, Verma is seen as an “important resource” for students interested in Asia, security studies, and the U.S. Congress and its role in foreign policy decision-making.
The Centennial Fellows program at the School of Foreign Service brings distinguished practitioners and scholars to be resources for students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the broader public.
Before he became ambassador, Verma served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, where he led the State Department’s efforts on Capitol Hill. He worked in the U.S. Senate for many years, serving as Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader and he also worked in the House of Representatives. He is veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served on active duty as a Judge Advocate. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He also worked in a private law firm, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and as Senior Counselor to the Albright Stonebridge Group. He served as a commissioner on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission and is a co-author of their landmark report, “World at Risk.” He was also a National Security Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a DC-based think tank currently led by Indian-American Neera Tanden.
He has a Masters of Law from the Georgetown University Law Center, his Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law. He is a graduate of Lehigh University.
“Georgetown has always been at the forefront of international relations scholarship, and I look forward to engaging with students, faculty and staff as we compare notes about developments in Asia, and in particular recent trends in India,” Verma is quoted saying in the press release.