Kenneth Juster, who’s set to be the next US Ambassador to New Delhi, is an experienced India hand.
Juster has been a pro-India voice ever since he was an Under-secretary in the US Department of Commerce in the George W Bush administration. The US-India Business Council awarded him with the Blackwill Award in 2004 for his contributions to India-US relations.
The Washington Post, which first broke the news, described Kenneth as a “consensus pick” and a “top-notch India expert”.
“Senior Trump Administration officials say his impending appointment to represent Washington in New Delhi is a consensus pick that places a top notch India expert in a crucial diplomatic post and he is currently going through a new round of clearances before his appointment can be officially announced,” the Post report said.
Juster has admired India’s technical competence, especially in life sciences and engineering, and founded and chaired the High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG) in 2002 to broad-base trade of dual-use goods and bilateral high-technology commerce.
In his various responsibilities, he has overseen trade dealing with export of sensitive goods and technologies to other countries. He has also been actively involved in policymaking on China, Japan, Israel, the Persian Gulf and Latin America.
A trustee of The Asia Foundation, a non-profit development organization, and member of the Council for Foreign Relations, a strategic think-tank of global influence, Juster is currently Donald Trump’s Deputy Assistant for International Economic Affairs. He’s also Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, and has been the first contact point for senior Indian officials for access to the Donald Trump administration.
According to Bloomberg, Juster has over 30 years of experience as a lawyer and senior business executive. He completed his law education at Harvard Law School. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Kenneth Juster will replace Richard Verma, the first Indian-American to become the US Ambassador to India. Verma was appointed by Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, and resigned as Donald Trump took over the US presidency.