The U.S. State Department announced the appointment of Atul Keshap, a senior foreign service officer with years of experience in South Asia, as Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) ad interim, in New Delhi, to replace Daniel Smith, who is retiring.
Mr. Keshap’s appointment highlights the fact that the White House is yet to send to the U.S. Senate the nomination of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose name has been doing the rounds for the Ambassador role in New Delhi since the end of May.
Mr. Keshap was formerly the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and played a key role in developing the U.S.-Maldives defence relationship. The two countries signed on to a framework for their security relationship last September.
He also served as Deputy Assistance Secretary for South Asia and was posted previously to the American Embassy in New Delhi.
“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,” a statement from the State Department said.