Indian American confirmed as Assistant Secretary of State

Puneet Talwar

Puneet Talwar has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a key diplomatic position, becoming the second Indian American to join the state department.

Talwar, who was a key aide of President Barack Obama on the Middle East, will now serve as the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.

Talwar will provide policy direction in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy and plans, and defense trade.

Since 2009, Talwar has been a special assistant to the president and senior director for Iran, Iraq, and the Gulf States on the White House National Security Staff.

Prior to this, Talwar served as a senior professional staff member on the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009 and from 1997 to 1999, and was the chief adviser on the Middle East to then senator Joseph Biden in his capacity as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Talwar received a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. (end)

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