Experienced diplomat Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been appointed the new Ambassador of India to the United States. He is currently India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh
Shringla is expected to take up his new assignment shortly, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. He will succeed Navtej Sarna, who will retire by the end of 2018, in Washington. In the course of a diplomatic career spanning 34 years, Shringla has held a variety of positions in New Delhi and abroad.
- Harsh Vardhan Shringla is a 1984 batch IFS officer.
- Two of his most recent postings in 34-year-long diplomatic career have been Ambassador of India to Thailand, and then to Bangladesh.
- Shringla also served in UNESCO, United Nations (New York), Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (both in Vietnam), and also in Israel and South Africa.
- In the MEA, Shringla served as joint secretary (director general) responsible for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Maldives.
- He also headed the United Nations Political and SAARC divisions in the MEA.
- The officer also served as director of the northern division dealing with Nepal and Bhutan and as deputy secretary of the Europe west division.
- A product of New Delhi’s St. Stephen’s college, he had worked in the private sector and public sectors before getting selected as the Indian Foreign Service.
- Among his published papers include the ones on conflict resolution, economic diplomacy and Indian diaspora.
- Shringla can speak French, Vietnamese and Nepalese, in addition to English and Hindi.
Managing the tricky Indo-US relationship is indeed a dream assignment for any diplomat. One of the major challenges of Indo-US relations is the dated opinion that Americans have of India. The media there has a major role to play in this regard. Shringla’s predecessor Sarna had criticised the American media for consistently ignoring India’s “development” stories and picking “exceptions” in May 2018 when he said, “Now, it is more a case of pity than worry. India has moved on, you haven’t.” Can Shringla, with his vast experience, make a notable change in at least this area?