Navtej Sarna will have one of the shortest tenures for an Indian high commissioner in London - nine months - as he prepares to take up his new assignment as India’s envoy to the United States shortly.
An external affairs ministry statement in New Delhi said on Thursday that Sarna, an IFS officer of the 1980 batch, had been appointed as the next ambassador to the US.
Sarna replaced Ranjan Mathai as the high commissioner to the United Kingdom in January. He was India’s 25th envoy at India House in Aldwych since independence in 1947.
Three previous high commissioners in London have had tenures of less than a year: Prakash Mehrotra (July-December 1984), Kuldip Nayar (March-November 1990) and Salman Haider (January-July 1998).
Three envoys who had the longest tenures in London were VK Krishna Menon (1947-1952) Vijaya Laxmi Pandit (1954-1961) and LM Singhvi (1991-1997).
Previously a minister or counsellor in the Indian embassy in Washington between 1998 and 2002, Sarna will steer India’s relations with the US under either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as the new president after the November 8 election.
The next Indian high commissioner to the UK is tipped to be Yash Sinha, the current envoy to Sri Lanka.