Indian-American Richard Verma confirmed for powerful US State Department post
Richard Verma has served as Vice Chairman of The Asia Group, Partner and Senior Counsellor at Steptoe and Johnson LLP.
The US Senate has confirmed Indian-American lawyer, diplomat and executive Richard Verma as the Deputy Secretary of State, Management and Resources, a position which is normally seen as the CEO of the powerful State Department in the US government.
Verma, 54, was confirmed by a vote of 67-26 on Thursday.
He served as the US ambassador to India from January 16, 2015, to January 20, 2017, and is currently the chief legal officer and the head of global public policy at Mastercard.
During the previous Obama administration, Verma served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.
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Earlier in his career, he was National Security Advisor to United States Senator Harry Reid and was Democratic Whip, Minority Leader and then Majority Leader of the United States Senate.
Verma has served as Vice Chairman of The Asia Group, Partner and Senior Counsellor at Steptoe and Johnson LLP, and Senior Counsellor at the Albright Stonebridge Group.
He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served as a Judge Advocate.
Verma, who was born in 1968 to an Indian immigrant, grew up in Pennsylvania. He attended a private college on a US Air Force scholarship. He earned a B.S at Lehigh University, a J.D. cum laude at American University, an LLM with distinction at Georgetown University Law Center, and a PhD at Georgetown University.
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He is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal from the Department of State, the International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations and the Meritorious Service Medal from the United States Air Force.
Verma was appointed to the President's Intelligence Advisory Board and is a former member of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission.
He serves as a trustee of The Ford Foundation and is on numerous other boards, including that of the National Endowment for Democracy and Lehigh University.