Taranjit Singh Sandhu is India’s new envoy to the United States
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, a career diplomat with more than 30 years of experience with two earlier stints in the Indian mission in Washington, was on Tuesday named India’s new envoy to the US.
Among the key tasks he will have to take on after assuming his new position is coordinating US President Donald Trump’s expected visit to India in February and guiding the talks for a new trade deal between the two countries that is aimed at addressing irritants and differences that have emerged in recent years.
Sandhu, currently the high commissioner to Sri Lanka, was deputy chief of mission in Washington during 2013-17. He also served as the first secretary at the embassy in Washington responsible for liaising with the US Congress during 1997-2000.
The post of ambassador to the US fell vacant when the previous incumbent, Harsh Shringla, was named the next foreign secretary. Shringla is set to take up his new assignment on January 29.
Sandhu, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1988, was appointed as the envoy to Sri Lanka in January 2017 after the stint in Washington. He has also served as India’s consul general in Frankfurt during 2011-13 and in the external affairs ministry in New Delhi during 2009-11, first as joint secretary (United Nations) and later as joint secretary (Administration).
He also served at India’s permanent mission to the UN in New York during 2005-09 and as head of the political wing in the high commission in Colombo during 2000-04.
Sandhu has also had stints in the erstwhile Soviet Union. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, he was sent to open India’s new embassy in Ukraine and headed the political and administration wings in the mission in Kiev during 1992-94. His wife Reenat Sandhu is the ambassador to Italy.