And for the first time, the U.S. Ambassador to India is a lady and an awesome one at that! Ambassador Powell was confirmed on March 29 and arrived in Delhi on Thursday, April 19. She has served in India several times before and has a lot of experience in the region. She has served in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal and speaks several of the regional languages. Paul and I had the pleasure of meeting Ambassador Powell in person while we were in language training. She was in a Hindi refresher course and set up a small meeting with the people who were learning Hindi at the time and preparing to go to post in India. I was so tempted to blog about it at the time but she wasn’t yet confirmed, so I had to curb my enthusiasm. It was a very informal meeting and we got to ask her questions and learn about her vision and priorities. She seems like a very knowledgeable but also very humble and unassuming person. Having met her, I can’t help but think that the U.S. – India relationship will benefit from her vast experience. Paul is very excited to serve under her and if I am lucky and get an offer from the Foreign Service, I may get to work on her team as well, which would be fantastic.
Interestingly, the current Indian Ambassador to the U.S. is also a lady, Ambassador Rao. The current U.S. Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) and the current president of India (Pratibha Patil) are also women. Which made me think how wonderful it is to have such capable, distinguished ladies serve in some of the most important posts in the world and what terrific role models they are for young girls considering careers in public service.
Welcome back to India, Ambassador Powell and best of luck!
Ambassador Powell and Ambassador Rao share an embrace (Photo: U.S. Department of State: Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.)