Rediff.com  » News » Indian American Atul Keshap, US envoy to Sri Lanka

Indian American Atul Keshap, US envoy to Sri Lanka

By Aziz Haniffa/Rediff.com
March 27, 2015 11:41 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Atul Keshap would be 'a superb fit for Sri Lanka as he knows the ins and outs of the politics there and all the political players, including the new disposition in Colombo intimately,' US diplomatic sources in Washington, DC told Aziz Haniffa/Rediff.com

After Richard Rahul Verma -- the current US ambassador to India -- yet another Indian American has been named an American envoy by President Barack Obama.

Atul Keshap, currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, has been nominated by President Obama to be the next US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

With this appointment, Keshap, like Richard Verma, creates history by being the first Indian American to be nominated as the US envoy to another South Asian nation.

Once confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- which is expected to be a formality -- it will result in the unprecedented development of two individuals of South Asian origin serving the US in two nations in the subcontinent.

In November 2013, Keshap, one of the rising stars in the US foreign service, was picked by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal to be her deputy.

Keshap would be "a superb fit for Sri Lanka as he has travelled frequently to the island nation, including on any number of occasions with Biswal, and knows the ins and outs of the politics there, and all the political players, including the new disposition in Colombo intimately," US diplomatic sources in Washington, DC told Rediff.com

In the past couple of years, he worked closely with Biswal to coordinate US policy towards India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives and Bhutan.

He was posted as Deputy Minister Counsellor for Political Affairs at the US embassy in New Delhi from 2005 to 2008 where he served as one of Ambassador David Mulford's principal advisors on the US-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.

A native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Keshap has lived in Nigeria, Lesotho, Afghanistan, Zambia and Austria. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees and majored in economics, international relations, diplomacy, and religious studies, as well as French.

His wife Karen Young Keshap, also a career foreign service officer, currently serves as Chief of Staff to the Director General of the US Foreign Service.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Aziz Haniffa/Rediff.com in Washington DC
 
The War Against Coronavirus

The War Against Coronavirus