U.S. Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer
Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer leads one of America's largest diplomatic missions, broadening and deepening the strategic U.S.-India partnership and expanding public diplomacy throughout India. Nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama as the 21st U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of India on May 27, 2009, Ambassador Roemer was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 10, 2009, and sworn in on July 23, 2009. He presented his credentials to Indian President Pratibha Patil on August 11, 2009.
As one of the youngest Ambassadors appointed to India, Ambassador Roemer immediately reached out to the people of India, strengthening the ties that form the foundation of the growing U.S.-India relationship. He has done this by visiting sites around Delhi as part of his "Delhi Days" program, traveling across the breadth of India to see first-hand the vibrant diversity of this country, and communicating the shared vision of the U.S. - India partnership. The Ambassador has made a particular effort to visit villages, experience religious diversity and interact with Indians from all walks of life, strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Indian people with each visit. He has used "basketball diplomacy," driven a rickshaw, and worked closely with women's empowerment groups to highlight shared American and Indian values.
The relationship between the U.S. and India is an indispensible partnership and one of the defining geostrategic relationships of the world. The Ambassador is a champion of this burgeoning friendship, as defined by the five pillars of the U.S-India Strategic Dialogue:
India is a key partner of the United States in maintaining peace and stability in the South Asia region. This partnership is now manifested across all aspects of security and defense cooperation - ranging from extensive joint exercises with the Indian military, arms sales, counterterror cooperation, and information sharing. The Ambassador's visit to the India Aviation 2010 Air Show in Hyderabad is an example of his commitment to this partnership. He led the U.S. delegation to the air show, which provided a platform to enhance civil aviation trade, American jobs, and security initiatives.
Energy and Climate Change
Ambassador Roemer is a proud advocate of efforts to deliver greater access to clean and affordable energy and electricity for all Indians, particularly the most disadvantaged and the rural poor, while producing jobs and economic opportunities for the people of both India and the United States. He leads efforts for full implementation of the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, and supports India's efforts to have reduced emissions levels alongside sustainable, low-carbon development. He has led the Obama administration efforts to build a "Green Partnership" with India, a joint effort to create research opportunities and develop technology that will slow down climate change and grow "green" jobs in both countries.
Education and Development
Reinforcing the strong educational ties between India and the US are a key part of our shared agenda. Since his arrival, the U.S.-India Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship has seen a 45% increase in funding from each government. On a personal level, in honor of President Obama's call to service, Ambassador Roemer has pioneered Mission-wide volunteer programs, working with local organizations like Mother Teresa's orphanage, Habitat for Humanity and Sweccha. In Orissa, the Ambassador visited a USAID water and sanitation infrastructure program. Implemented in 12 different settlements, one single project is improving the lives of 17,000 people - and with sustainable, long-term solutions driven by the local community.
Economics, Trade, and Agriculture
The launch of the U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership demonstrates the strength of the commercial ties between the United States and India. Partnerships between U.S. and Indian agricultural organizations have resulted in enhancements in agricultural products and methods, boosting agricultural productivity and reducing demand for pesticides and water. Ambassador Roemer has championed U.S. products, from dairy products to defense equipment. He has opened Harley Davidson's headquarters in Gurgaon and his strong advocacy in lowering trade barriers resulted in reduced customs duties for medical devices, solar energy instruments, and infrastructure equipment.
Science and Technology, Health and Innovation
Scientific collaboration between the U.S. and India reaches back decades and continues to grow. In particular, the Ambassador has been an early and effective advocate for new technologies to help prevent illness and contribute to a cleaner environment. Since arriving in Delhi, the Ambassador has been a staunch supporter of increasing the use and availability of smokeless cookstoves to reduce indoor air pollution and improve the health of families throughout India.
Ambassador Roemer's personal engagement in U.S. - India cooperation is a continuation of the issues he fought for throughout his career and life. During his six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 2003 representing the 3rd District of Indiana, Ambassador Roemer was the driving force behind a number of ground-breaking educational initiatives, encouraging innovations which help ensure quality education for all American students. He was involved in service and opportunity creation, sponsoring legislation establishing the AmeriCorps national service program and expanding the Head Start program. He supported education for the disabled, promoted teacher certification for professionals from outside fields, and provided workforce training for non-college-bound high school students.
National security is another defining issue for Ambassador Roemer. After September 11, 2001, Ambassador Roemer was one of the original sponsors of the legislation to create the Department of Homeland Security. Ambassador Roemer was a member of the 9/11 Commission, as well as the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism. In addition, he served on the Washington Institute's Presidential Task Force on Combating the Ideology of Radical Extremism. As a Distinguished Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Ambassador Roemer worked with Members of Congress and staff to improve public policy outcomes.
Prior to his nomination as Ambassador to India, Ambassador Roemer was President of the Center for National Policy (CNP) in Washington, D.C. a moderate think-tank dedicated to finding bipartisan solutions to America's most important national security challenges.
Ambassador Roemer holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.A. and PhD. in American Government from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Sally, have four children: Patrick, Matthew, Sarah, and Grace. He enjoys coaching his children in sports, reading biographies, collecting first edition books, and playing basketball.