Richard Verma

Richard Verma
United States Ambassador to India
Assumed office
January 16, 2015
President Barack Obama
Deputy Michael P. Pelletier
Preceded by Kathleen Stephens (Acting)
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
In office
April 6, 2009  March 14, 2011
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Matthew Reynolds
Succeeded by Joseph Macmanus (Acting)
Personal details
Born Richard Rahul Verma
(1968-11-27) November 27, 1968
Edmonton, Canada
Spouse(s) Melineh Verma
Alma mater Lehigh University
American University
Georgetown University

Richard Rahul Verma (born November 27, 1968) is an American diplomat and the United States Ambassador to India. Verma was previously nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009 to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, a position he held until March 2011.[1] Verma began his career as a lawyer with extensive experience in national security and nonproliferation issues.

Early life and education

Verma’s parents were born in India and lived through the Partition of India. Verma’s father became a professor of English, specializing in Indian Literature,[2] at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for 40 years and his late mother, Savitri, was a special needs school teacher. Richard, the youngest of their five children growing up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, attended public school in the Westmont Hilltop School District.[3] Verma graduated from Lehigh University (BS, Industrial Engineering), American University Washington College of Law (JD), and Georgetown University (LLM). At Lehigh, Verma was in ROTC, a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and his senior class president.


Verma began his career in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Force judge advocate. Verma subsequently worked as a lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson until he became a senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from 2002 to 2007.[4] In 2007, he was named by the organization "India Abroad" as one of the 50 most influential Indian-Americans. [5]In 2008, he was a member of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism, and co-authored World at Risk (2008).[6]

He joined the State Department in 2007 as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. After leaving the State Department in 2011, he joined the Washington, D.C. office of Steptoe & Johnson as a senior counselor.[7] He also served as a member of the Secretary of State's Foreign Affairs Policy Board.[8]

US Ambassador to India

In September 2014 Obama nominated Verma as the next U.S. Ambassador to India.[9] On December 4, 2014, the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted to forward Verma's nomination to the full Senate. On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Senate confirmed Verma in a voice vote.[10] Verma presented his credentials to President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 16, 2015. [11]


Secretary of State John Kerry greets members of Verma's family in New Delhi.

Verma is married to Melineh Verma, an attorney. Prior to relocating to New Delhi, both lived in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. They have six-year-old twins and a nine-year-old daughter.[3]


External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Matthew Reynolds
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
Succeeded by
Joseph Macmanus
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Kathleen Stephens
United States Ambassador to India
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