No longer "estranged democracies," relations between the United States and India have been on a steady upward trajectory in recent years, though at times have fallen short of the lofty expectations set by others. As we look ahead, the significance of a true U.S.-India security and economic partnership is just now coming into focus, and it is clear the potential is enormous. Indeed, the positive ripple effects of a convergence between the world's two largest democracies would reverberate across Asia. This opportunity, however, comes amid uncertain times in Asia. China's march for primacy continues. Dangers from nuclear proliferation and rogue regimes loom large. The fractionalization of states and humanitarian crises are all too common. We must then ask – what role can the United States and India play together to promote peace and stability, uphold and reinforce the post-World War II order, and shape and build new institutions across Asia and beyond? These are some of the questions Ambassador Verma will tackle in his remarks, while also providing historical context on the issues that have limited U.S.-India ties to-date. He will also provide insight on the future trajectory of the relationship, looking at how the United States and India -- two non-allies -- can work together to promote peace, economic growth, and democratic values during these uncertain times.
Richard Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017, where he led one of the largest U.S. diplomatic missions and championed historic progress in bilateral cooperation on defense, trade, and clean energy. Ambassador Verma also oversaw an unprecedented nine meetings between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi – leading to over 100 new initiatives and more than 40 government-to-government dialogues.
Ambassador Verma was previously the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, and also served for many years as the Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader. He was a member of the WMD and Terrorism Commission and a co-author of their landmark report, “World at Risk.” He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and his military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
In addition to his role at The Asia Group, Ambassador Verma is a Centennial Fellow at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and he co-chairs the Center for American Progress’ U.S.-India Task Force. Ambassador Verma is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award, the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and was ranked by India Abroad as one of the 50 most influential Indian Americans. He holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center (LLM), American University’s Washington College of Law (JD), and Lehigh University (BS).
This colloquia is co-sponsored with the Stanford Center for South Asia