Washington D.C: India’s new envoy, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, will present his credentials to US President Donald Trump on February 6 (Thursday), merely four days after arriving in the US capital.

Sandhu assumed charge as the Indian Ambassador to the United States on Monday.

Just like the previous Ambassador to the United States and now the Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Sandhu too is speedily scheduled for the formal ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House.

The usual wait time to present credentials in Washington can be anywhere between two to four months, given the number of embassies and envoys here.

A senior official told media that the prompt credentialing is of course due to President Trump’s India visit later this month and also a sign of the high importance the US attaches to India, a trend that has steadily been growing stronger through successive US administrations.

Sandhu’s most immediate task is President Trump’s India visit, followed by keeping up the momentum in bilateral ties.

Sandhu is one of the most experienced Indian diplomats on US affairs, having served in the Indian Mission in Washington DC twice earlier. He was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India in Washington DC from July 2013 to January 2017. Earlier, he was the First Secretary (Political) at the Embassy of India, Washington DC, responsible for liaison with the United States Congress from 1997 to 2000. He has also been at the Permanent Mission of India to United Nations, New York, from July 2005 to February 2009.

He comes to Washington from Sri Lanka where he had a remarkably successful tenure as the High Commissioner from January 2017 to January 2020. He also served at the High Commission of India, Colombo, earlier as the Head of the Political Wing from December 2000 to September 2004. Sandhu was the Consul General of India in Frankfurt from September 2011 to July 2013.

Besides this, he has worked in the Ministry of External Affairs in various capacities – as Joint Secretary (United Nations) from March 2009 to August 2011; and later as Joint Secretary (Administration) heading the Human Resource Division. He was Officer on Special Duty (Press Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, from December 1995 to March 1997, and was responsible for liaison with foreign media in India.

In a distinguished career spanning over 30 years in the Indian Foreign Service since 1988, Ambassador Sandhu started his diplomatic career from former Soviet Union (Russia) where he worked as Third Secretary (Political)/Second Secretary (Commercial) in the Indian Mission from 1990 to 1992. Following the breakup of Soviet Union, he was sent to open a new Embassy in Ukraine. He served as Head of Political and Administration Wings in Indian Embassy in Kiev from 1992 to 1994.

Born on January 23, 1963, in a family of educationists, Sandhu studied at The Lawrence School, Sanawar and graduated with History Honors from St. Stephens’ College, Delhi. He pursued a Master’s Degree in International Relations at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

He is married to Reenat Sandhu, who is Ambassador of India to Italy. They have two children. His interests include books, movies, and outdoor sports.
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