Trump nominates Robert Williams as Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs

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On December 12, President Donald Trump nominated Robert Williams, a veteran South Asia hand, to serve as the assistant secretary of state for South Asian Affairs.

Williams has specialized in South Asia and Afghanistan affairs as an analyst and intelligence officer and has served as the associate deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency since October 2017.

He also served during the first three years of the Obama Administration as a defense intelligence officer for South Asia at the DIA, and then went on to serve an additional six years as the national intelligence officer for South Asia at the agency.

In addition, Williams has served in various capacities at the Defense Department, beginning in 1996 during the Clinton administration and during former President George Bush’s two terms in office.

He has spent stints at the White House Situation Room and as assistant director for Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Williams has been an adjunct associate professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service since 2017, and was previously a senior adjunct professorial lecturer at American University’s School of International Service from 2013 to 2016.

He earned his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, where he majored in history and international relations, and went on to earn his M.A. at The George Washington University, where he focused on political psychology, defense policy analysis, and international security policy.

Williams has received many honors and awards, including the National Intelligence Superior Service Medal.

If appointed as assistant secretary of state for South Asian Affairs, Williams would take on the role which was served by Indian American Nisha Biswal during the latter half of the Obama Administration.

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