President Joe Biden has announced his decision to nominate Richard R. Verma (a.k.a. Rich) to the post of Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. The move has been hailed by the Indian American community.
Reacting to the news, Sanjeev Joshipura, executive director of Indiaspora said that the President made an "inspired" choice as Verma's varied experience as a government official makes him an ideal candidate for the role.
"Given his significant experience in the executive and legislative branches of government, his critical diplomatic vantage point as the former U.S. Ambassador to India, and his international private sector leadership background, Rich is the ideal candidate to serve the country in the top echelons of the State Department. Equally importantly, he possesses the character, temperament and judgment to serve in this capacity," Joshipura remarked.
Ronak D. Desai, prominent attorney and leading India practitioner at Paul Hastings LLP and expert at the Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute at Harvard University also lauded the Deputy Secretary designate describing him as the "pride" of the Indian American community.
"Rich Verma continues to be a source of profound pride for the Indian American community and global diaspora. His entire entire public service career has been one firsts. By becoming the highest-ranking Indian American in the US government if confirmed, his latest nomination to serve as the chief operating officer of the State Department is no exception. He is an inspiration through example," he said.
The former U.S. Ambassador to India, Currently serves as the chief legal officer and head of global public policy at Mastercard. During the Obama Administration. he also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force he was appointed as the National Security Advisor to United States Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). He has also held the posts of vice chairman of The Asia Group, partner and senior counselor at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and senior counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group.
Verma was appointed to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and is a former member of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission. He had been the Secretary of State's Foreign Affairs Policy Board and is the recipient of the State Department's Distinguished Service Award.
The 54-year-old completed his Bachelor in Science at Lehigh University, Juris Doctor cum laude at American University, Master of Laws with distinction at Georgetown University Law Center, and Ph.D. at Georgetown University.
Verma was awarded an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations, and was ranked by India Abroad as one of the 50 most influential Indian Americans, a news release noted.