Nothing has been confirmed officially as yet about Mumbai-born strategic expert Ashley Tellis being the next US Ambassador to India, but teachers at his college St Xavier’s say he has remained in touch with his alma mater.
Tellis, a former White House official and renowned India expert, completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the St Xavier’s College in south Mumbai before going to the US for further studies.“He was always brilliant in studies. He was a brilliant speaker and had a very good vocabulary,” principal Agnelo Menezes said.
Menezes, the first non-Jesuit Principal of the college in its 147-year old history, was a year senior to Tellis at the institute. “Ashley had a keen interest in arms and ammunition (strategic affairs),” Menezes said recently. Though settled in the US, he (Tellis) has kept in touch with his alma mater and also visited it after he passed out.
Father Frazer Mascarenhas, a former principal of the college, said Tellis was a clear-headed student who spoke passionately about India-US relations even during his college days.
“With a clear, sharp mind, Tellis always knew what he was doing right from the beginning. His thoughts about international relations and recommendations for strengthening India-US relations were firm from his college days,” he said.
After leaving Mumbai, the 55-year-old Indian-American policy expert completed his PhD from the University of Chicago and went to hold important positions.
Tellis is currently a Senior Fellow, South Asia Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington -based influential think-tank.