New US mission head takes chargeApril 6th, 2009 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) A. Peter Burleigh, a veteran diplomat who has served as the US ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, assumed office as the Charge d’ Affaires (head of mission) of the US embassy here Monday.
It is an interim arrangement till the Barack Obama administration appoints a full-time ambassador. That may take some time as ambassadorial appointments require Senate approval. Last ambassador David Mulford left in March to join Credit Suisse.
“Burleigh’s interim appointment by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reflects the US government’s emphasis on assuring highest-level representation and continuity in US-India relations,” said a statement from the embassy.
“His substantial diplomatic experience and many years in South Asia will provide leadership to the US mission in India and continue to nurture the important bilateral relationship until a permanent ambassador is named in the months ahead.”
Burleigh served as ambassador and deputy representative of the US to the United Nations before he retired in August 2000, after 33 years in the US foreign service.
Prior to his UN post, he served as the US ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives (1995-1997).
Burleigh held a number of senior positions at the State Department and served in United States embassies in Nepal, Bahrain, and India, as well as Sri Lanka.
Apart from English, he speaks Hindi, Bengali, Nepali and Sinhalese.