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US ambassador to India

Speculation is rife that Marc Grossman may be US Ambassador to India.

india Updated: May 06, 2003 20:00 IST

Speculation is rife here that the Bush administration may be considering Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman as replacement for Ambassador Robert Blackwill whose term in India ends in June.

The rumour mill grinds a different name almost every week, but it is notable that Grossman's chief staffer is leaving for India as deputy chief of mission shortly, according to reliable sources.

The Bush administration apparently wants to place an important emissary to take over the helm of affairs in New Delhi at this critical juncture when Islamabad and New Delhi are making positive overtures.

Earlier there were rumours that Jeff Davidow, ambassador to Mexico, was a frontrunner for the India portfolio. That appears to have been shelved and Grossman is now at the top of the rumour chart.

Grossman has been closely involved in discussions with Indian envoys to Washington, including Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal.

He has been Under Secretary for Political Affairs since March 2001 and in that position is the State Department's "crisis manager" responsible for integrating political, economic, global and security issues into the U.S. bilateral relationships. There are six geographically defined bureaus and one functional bureau that report to him -- bureaus for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East, South Asia, and the Western Hemisphere.

During former President Jimmy Carter's tenure, Grossman also served as deputy special adviser to Carter and in several capacities for the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.

Other overseas assignments include tours as a political officer at the U.S Mission to NATO and in Islamabad. A career foreign service officer since 1976, Grossman has a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and M.Sc. in International Relations from London School of Economics and Political Science.

First Published: May 06, 2003 20:00 IST