Washington: President Donald Trump will nominate Kenneth Juster, a top economic aide and one of the key architects of the historic Indo-US civil nuclear agreement, to be the next US ambassador to India.
Juster, 62, who is the Deputy Assistant to the US president for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of his National Economic Council, would replace Richard Verma if confirmed by the Senate.
The nomination of the new envoy follows Trump’s announcement in his Afghanistan policy speech last week that a “critical part” of his South Asia strategy is to further develop strategic partnership with India.
As the Under Secretary for Commerce, Juster played a key role in developing the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement between the US and India.
The Next Steps in Strategic Partnership, a diplomatic initiative between the United States and India on cooperation in strategic areas such as nuclear, space and military, laid the foundation for increased cooperation.
His work related to India was instrumental in transforming the US-India relationship and laid the foundation for the historic civil nuclear agreement between the two countries.
The position has been lying vacant since January 20 when Trump was sworn-in as the 45th President of the US.
Juster has previously served as the Under Secretary of Commerce from 2001-2005, Counselor (acting) of the State Department from 1992-1993, and deputy and senior adviser to the Deputy Secretary of State from 1989-1992.
In the private sector, he has been a partner at the investment firm Warburg Pincus LLC, Executive Vice President at Salesforce.com, and senior partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter.
He has also served as Chairman of Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and as Vice Chairman of The Asia Foundation.
Juster holds a law degree from the Harvard Law School, a master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard College.
In June, the White House said that Juster, 62, will be America’s new ambassador to India.