United States Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas L Vajda is expected to take charge as the new US top diplomat for South Asia.
As per the details, Alice Wells – acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs is expected to retire from the State Department this month, and Thomas L Vajda is expected to assume the designation after her.
Mike Pompeo – US Secretary of State, announced the decision on social media and stated, “After 31 years of dedicated service, Ambassador Alice Wells will retire from State Department this month.”
“I personally came to admire Ambassador Wells’ dedication to our team’s mission and her dogged pursuit of American excellence. We commend her service and wish her the best,” he tweeted.
The outgoing Alice Wells was appointed as the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs on June 26, 2017. Despite not having Senate confirmation, she has been playing a key role in the geo-politics of South Asia and is the main architect of the recent improvement in US-India ties and has been working on improved Us-India relations and cooperation to counter China in the South Asia region.
Last year, inn a public statement, she asked Indian government to restore telecommunications and release the political prisoners in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a step which was significantly irked the Indian government.
Thomas L Vajda
The incoming US top diplomat for South and Central Asia, Thomas L. Vajda is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia, overseeing U.S. policy towards and relations with India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Bhutan.
Between October 2018 and July 2019, he also served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security and Transnational Affairs in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, overseeing economic and security issues, resource and strategic planning, and Congressional relations across all the countries of South and Central Asia.
It is to be noted that Mr Vajda has previously served as U.S. Consul General in Mumbai from 2014-2017, and is expected to be the key to further strengthening of US-India relationship.