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United States Ambassador Nancy J. Powell

Biography of Ambassador Nancy J. Powell

New Delhi | April 19, 2012
Ambassador Nancy J. Powell (State Dept. Photo)

Ambassador Nancy J. Powell

Ambassador Nancy J. Powell arrived April 19, 2012 following her March 29 confirmation by the United States Senate as the first female United States Ambassador to India.  Ambassador Powell holds the highest rank in the United States Foreign Service, with the title of Career Ambassador. 

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 7, Ambassador Powell said India will be “a leading security partner of the United States in the 21st century,” adding “our relations are firmly grounded in a set of shared democratic values and an increasingly shared strategic vision of both the opportunities that can promote those values as well as the threats that can undermine them.”
Prior to President Barack Obama’s nominating her as Ambassador to India, Ambassador Powell was Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources.  She was the United States Ambassador to Nepal from August 2007 to August 2009.  From 2006-2007, she served as the National Intelligence Officer for South Asia at the National Intelligence Council, as the State Department’s Senior Coordinator for Avian Influenza, and as Acting Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Activities.
Ambassador Powell has also served as Ambassador to Pakistan, Ghana, and Uganda.  Other prior assignments also include serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh and Togo, Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Consul General in Calcutta, and Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at U.S. Embassy New Delhi.  Ambassador Powell is the recipient of the Homeland Security Service to America Medal for 2006 for Avian Influenza preparations, and the U.S. State Department Arnold L. Raphel Award for 2003.  Ambassador Powell graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1970.
To view Ambassador Powell introducing herself by video, please visit; you are also welcome to use the embed code for posting to your own website by going to