A crucial Senate Committee today confirmed the nomination of Ken Juster as the next American envoy to India, paving the way for a full Senate confirmation of the old India hand, who played a key role in the landmark Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
Juster's nomination was agreed by the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a voice vote, reflecting the bipartisan support his nomination has in the Congress.
The nomination of Juster, 62, now moves to the full Senate before he can be sworn in as America's new Ambassador to India.
He would replace Richard Verma as the top American diplomat to India if confirmed, The position has been lying vacant since January 20 after Verma resigned from the post with the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
Given his overwhelming support among lawmakers, Juster is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate soon so as to be in India ahead of the next month's Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, which is being co-hosted by India and the US.
Trump's senior advisor and daughter Ivanka Trump will be leading a high-powered American delegation of entrepreneurs to the GES in Hyderabad, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Most recently, Juster had served as the Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council.
Juster played a key role in enhancing the Indo-US ties under the Bush administration.
Juster has previously served as Under Secretary of Commerce from 2001-2005, Counsellor (acting) of the State Department from 1992-1993, and deputy and senior adviser to the Deputy Secretary of State from 1989-1992.
In the private sector, he has been a partner at the investment firm Warburg Pincus LLC, Executive Vice President at Salesforce.com, and senior partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter.
He has also served as Chairman of Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and as Vice Chairman of The Asia Foundation.
Juster holds a law degree from the Harvard Law School, a masters degree in Public Policy from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and a bachelors degree in Government from Harvard College.