Atul Keshap, the newly appointed Charge d' Affaires at the US Embassy in India, shares very old connections with India.
"Before departure for #India, I went home to #Charlottesville to seek my Mother's blessings. She served in the #ForeignService at the US Embassy in New Delhi 1958-1960", Keshap wrote on Twitter.
Keshap most recently served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and as the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the US State Department announced.
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The State Department said Atul Keshap, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will be departing for New Delhi to serve as Charge d' Affaires, ad interim, following the retirement of Ambassador Daniel Smith. Ambassador Keshap will bring a wealth of experience to the role, having served previously at US Embassy New Delhi and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia.
"Ambassador Keshap's appointment will reinforce the close US partnership with the government and people of India, demonstrated by our collaboration to overcome global challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic", the State Department said.
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As per reports, his father, Keshap Chander Sen was from Punjab and United Nations economist working in Nigeria where Keshap was born in 1971.
His mother, Zoe Calvert, had been in the U.S. Foreign Service when she met and married Sen in London. She also served at the US embassy in India.
The Keshap family home is Charlottesville, Virginia, where Keshap attended St. Anne's-Belfield School, graduating in 1988.
Keshap was posted in India in 2005 as a Deputy Minister counselor at the US embassy in New Delhi. Although he had visited India as a child, Keshap never learned Hindi until taking State Department language training, as per reports.
Across his 27-year career as an American diplomat, Keshap has served at postings in India, Morocco, and Guinea, and as United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives.
He has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, as US Senior Official for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and as an Office Director in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.
Keshap has negotiated or advanced bilateral and multilateral initiatives at senior levels with counterparts from the European Union, United Nations, ASEAN, APEC, and governments across the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and North and South America.
Keshap served at the Department of Defense as the National Defense University's Vice Chancellor for the College of International Security Affairs. Earlier in his career, he served as Director for North Africa and Middle East regional affairs on the National Security Council staff in the Executive Office of the President of the United States.