Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service is pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador Richard Verma as SFS Centennial Fellow. Ambassador Verma served as the 25th United States Ambassador to India, nominated by President Obama in September 2014 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2014. During his two-year tenure, U.S.-India relations experienced a significant resurgence, with important gains made in defense, trade and clean energy. The Ambassador managed an unprecedented 9 meetings and 3 summits between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi, leading to over 100 new initiatives and more than 40 government to government dialogues.
“The Walsh School of Foreign Service is truly excited to have Rich Verma join us as a Centennial Fellow,” Senior Associate Dean Anthony Clark Arend said. “Ambassador Verma has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors. He will bring to the School a unique perspective that will help all of us re-imagine our mission in a new and changing world.”
The Centennial Fellows program at the School of Foreign Service brings distinguished practitioners and scholars to be resources for students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the broader public.
Ambassador Verma will help support Georgetown’s India Initiative, a signature program to advance research and teaching around India, world affairs and the United States. With his 25 years of experience in the national security field, he will also be an important resource for students interested in Asia, security studies, and the US Congress and its role in foreign policy decision-making.
Ambassador Verma previously served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, where he led the State Department’s efforts on Capitol Hill. He worked in the Senate for many years, serving as Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader and he also worked in the House of Representatives. He is veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served on active duty as a Judge Advocate. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
The Ambassador also has a distinguished career in the private sector, serving as partner at the global law firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and as Senior Counselor to the Albright Stonebridge Group. He served as a commissioner on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission and is a co-author of their landmark report, “World at Risk.” He was also a National Security Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a DC-based think tank.
Ambassador Verma received his Masters of Law from the Georgetown University Law Center, his Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law, and his bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University. He 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.
“I’m really honored to be a part of the School of Foreign Service and the Centennial Fellows program,” Ambassador Verma said. “Georgetown has always been at the forefront of international relations scholarship, and I look forward to engaging with students, faculty and staff as we compare notes about developments in Asia, and in particular recent trends in India.”