By Samyukta Maindarkar | dna Webdesk
The United States Ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, announced on Monday that she will be resigning from her post.
The announcement comes before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in India, and Powell has said she will be retiring in May, before the new Indian government comes to power.
Powell, 67, is a career diplomat and the US’s first female ambassador to India. She succeeded previous US ambassador to India Albert Peter Burleigh in April 2012. She holds the highest rank in the United States Foreign Service, with the title of Career Ambassador.
Powell’s resignation also comes amid speculation that the US administration was likely to appoint a new ambassador to India in view of a new government taking over after 10 years of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule.
Powell had described Indo-US ties as “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”.
However, bilateral relations plummeted to almost breaking point during her tenure, especially in the aftermath of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest in New York over charges of visa fraud.
Powell did end the US’ decade-long boycott of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, seen by many as most likely to become India’s next prime minister.
Prior to her India assignment, Powell served as US Ambassador to Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan, Nepal. She has also served in Canada, Togo and Bangladesh.
Powell graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1970. It is reported that, as planned for some time, she will retire to her home in Delaware, US.
*Originally published on dnaindia.com on April 1, 2014