Jeffrey Davidow | india | Hindustan Times
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Jeffrey Davidow

He is the front-runner to replace Blackwill as the US ambassador to India.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2003 18:51 IST

The front-runner to replace Robert Blackwill as the US ambassador to India is a career diplomat, Jeffrey Davidow, say both Indian and US diplomatic sources. Davidow is ending a spell as the US ambassador to Mexico.

New Delhi is reportedly pleased with the choice. Davidow has a reputation as one of the State Department's brightest diplomats. Though his nearly three decades-long career as a diplomat has largely focussed on Latin America and Africa, Davidow is not unfamiliar with India. He spent 1968-69 studying at Osmania University in Hyderabad.

Though Davidow is the State Department's first choice, the possibility of a last-minute political appointee is still not being ruled out. "Four months is a long time in Washington," said a US official. However, sources say that whoever it is, they're certain to lack the access to the White House that Blackwill commanded.

Davidow received high marks from Madeleine Albright under whom he served as Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs. A key accomplishment: Forge a unique US-Argentine military partnership that was short of an alliance but seen as a forerunner to the sort of agreement suitable for a post-Cold War world.

A Jewish-American, Davidow studied at the Universities of Massachusetts and Minnesota. But he also spent time at Harvard University, Blackwill's stamping ground.