U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will be departing for New Delhi to serve as Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim, following the retirement of Ambassador Daniel Smith, the U.S. Department of State announced on Tuesday.
“Ambassador Keshap will bring a wealth of experience to the role, having served previously at U.S. 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 and as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives,” the department said in a statement.
“Ambassador Keshap’s appointment will reinforce the close U.S. partnership with the Government and people of India, demonstrated by our collaboration to overcome global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.
Keshap tweeted: “I am deeply honored by the opportunity once again to help advance the enduring friendship between the United States of America and the Republic of India.”
Keshap was posted as Deputy Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the United States Embassy in New Delhi from 2005 to 2008, where he served as one of Ambassador David Mulford’s principal advisors on the U.S.-India civilian nuclear energy cooperation initiative. He also worked to implement the broader strategic partnership with India at all levels in close coordination with the Indian government while managing a large political reporting and outreach team, according to Wikipedia.
From 2010 to 2012, Keshap worked with Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake as Director of the Office of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Bhutan Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
Keshap served from 2013 to 2015 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, working closely with Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Desai Biswal to coordinate U.S. Government policy toward India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, and Bhutan.
Keshap has working proficiency in French and speaks conversational Hindi.