The US Senate has confirmed Indian-American lawyer, diplomat and executive Richard Verma as the Deputy Secretary of State, Management and Resources, a position which is normally seen as the CEO of the powerful State Department in the US government. Verma, 54, was confirmed by a vote of 67-26 on March 3oth, 2023.
In his new role, Verma will be responsible for directing, coordinating, and supervising State Department operations such as foreign assistance and civilian response programs. Verma previously served as US Ambassador to India (2015-17) during the Obama Administration, becoming the first person of Indian descent to hold that position.
He is presently the Chief Legal Officer and Head of Global Public Policy at Mastercard. He also served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, where he led the State Department’s efforts on Capitol Hill.
He served as the US ambassador to India from January 16, 2015, to January 20, 2017, and is currently the chief legal officer and the head of global public policy at Mastercard. A US Air Force veteran, Verma served on active duty as a Judge Advocate. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
During the previous Obama administration, Verma served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. Earlier in his career, he was National Security Advisor to United States Senator Harry Reid and was Democratic Whip, Minority Leader and then Majority Leader of the United States Senate.
Richard Verma has served as Vice Chairman of The Asia Group, Partner and Senior Counsellor at Steptoe and Johnson LLP, and Senior Counsellor at the Albright Stonebridge Group. Verma was appointed to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and is a former member of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission. He serves as a trustee of The Ford Foundation and is on numerous other boards, including that of the National Endowment for Democracy and Lehigh University.
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.
Verma, who was born in 1968 to an Indian immigrant, grew up in Pennsylvania. He attended a private college on a US Air Force scholarship. He earned a B.S at Lehigh University, a J.D. cum laude at American University, an LLM with distinction at Georgetown University Law Center, and a PhD at Georgetown University.