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New US ambassador Kenneth Juster no stranger to India

He founded and served as US chair of the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group

Aditi Phadnis  |  New Delhi 

Kenneth Juster, new US ambassador to India
US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster is not unknown in Delhi. He founded and served as US chair of the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group.

Kenneth Juster, who has been named US ambassador to this country, was first made deputy assistant for international economic affairs in President Donald Trump’s administration and director of the Economic Council.

He’s a former partner, where he focused on global public policy and geopolitics, as well as heading the company’s Emergency Solutions Grants. He resigned from Warburg to take up the White House position, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

Juster has served in government before. He was undersecretary of commerce from 2001 to 2005, where he advocated for strong export policies and served in senior (their foreign ministry) roles from 1989 to 1993. He is a recipient of the Redfield Award from the Commerce Department and a Distinguished Service Award from the

Founded in 1966, New York-based is a private equity (PE) firm, with a little more than $40 billion in assets under management, in an active portfolio of more than 130 investments. Since inception, it has raised 16 PE funds, which have invested about $58 bn in 760 companies, in a little more than 40 countries. Former secretary Tim Geithner serves as the company’s president.

Juster is not unknown in He founded and served as US chair of the US-High Technology Cooperation Group. And, was a key architect of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership initiative between the two, forged during the earlier Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, when Jaswant Singh was foreign minister and George Fernandes the defence minister. Kanwal Sibal was foreign secretary. The group was to develop a new statement of principles governing bilateral cooperation in high technology trade, including ways to increase trade in dual-use goods and technologies.

He was also on the US And, was responsible for negotiating the End-Use Visit Understanding between the US and China that facilitated increased export of American high technology there.

He has formidable academic credentials. A Bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College, a degree from Harvard Law School, a Master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 

While in school, Juster wrote a paper on the doctrine of containment,  the basic US strategy for fighting the ‘cold war’ (1947–1989) with the Soviet Union, articulated first by career foreign service officer George Kennan. Juster reports that one his most memorable moments was to join the government and have Kennan drop in unannounced to his office. 

In 1988, when George Bush (Senior) became President, Juster became senior advisor to deputy secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger. He was one of a  three-man team that negotiated the release of a Chinese dissident after the events at Tiananmen Square in 1989. When James Baker resigned in 1992 as secretary of state to run President Bush’s campaign for re-election, Eagleburger became secretary and Juster the counselor at the department, a position he held until the inauguration of Bill Clinton.

Juster has written widely. One significant work, ‘The Myth of Iraqgate’, was published in Foreign Policy magazine in 1994. This was a rebuttal of several columns written by legendary journalist William Safire, that Iraq used US guarantees provided by President Bush to borrow the money to buy grain that was loaded on to ships and then diverted to other countries in barter for technology enabling Saddam Hussein to develop nuclear weapons and missiles. Safire described it as a global political scandal, costing US taxpayers $1.9 billion, adding that Bush bought Clinton’s silence, making Iraqgate the biggest political conspiracy of recent times.Juster vigorously questioned all of this, disputing on factual grounds. In this, he proved his loyalty to the Bush administration. Maybe that is the quality that won over Donald Trump.

First Published: Fri, June 23 2017. 01:09 IST
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