Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Ambassador Richard Verma Named Belfer Center Senior Fellow

| July 03, 2018

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named Ambassador Richard Verma a non-resident Senior Fellow. Verma, who served as U.S. Ambassador to India from 2014-2017 and earlier as Assistant Secretary of State, will share with students and faculty lessons on diplomacy, developments in Asia, and U.S. national security policy.

As Ambassador to India, Verma led one of the largest U.S. embassies in the world, including four consulates and more than 2,500 employees. He managed a number of meetings and summits between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and oversaw a number of major bilateral agreements.

“Rich’s extraordinary leadership and negotiation skills strengthened U.S.-India ties at a time of great consequence for both countries,” said Ash Carter, Belfer Center Director and former Secretary of Defense. “His energetic diplomacy resulted in high-level agreements supporting market access, defense, energy, and science, and set records in two-way trade. All this followed a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, on Capitol Hill, and in the State Department. We are honored to welcome him as a Senior Fellow and valuable resource for our students and faculty.”

“The Belfer Center has been at the leading edge of security, foreign policy and technology for decades,” said Ambassador Verma. “I’m thrilled and honored to be joining current and future generations of national security leaders in their research, teaching, and scholarship at such a critical time.”  

As Assistant Secretary of State from 2009-2011, Verma served as a senior member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s leadership team. He led negotiations with Congress on new Iranian sanctions and consideration of the New START treaty with Russia, and he oversaw Senate confirmations, treaties, and oversight hearings. His congressional service included stints with the Senate Democratic Leader and Whip as Senior National Security Advisor and Senior Counsel, respectively.

Earlier, Verma was a Commissioner on the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission and co-author of the Commission’s report, “World at Risk.” He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the National Endowment for Democracy and Lehigh University.

A former U.S. Air Force Captain, Verma earned a Masters in Law in International Law, LLM, with distinction, at Georgetown University Law Center, and a Juris Doctorate, JD, cum laude, at American University. Among his many honors, he received the U.S. State Department’s Distinguished Service Medal, the Chief Justice John Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, the Centennial Fellowship from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and the International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations. His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Ambassador Richard Verma Named Belfer Center Senior Fellow.” Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, July 3, 2018.