Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s Ambassador to US, set to retire


Our Bureau

Washington, DC

India’s ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, will retire by month end after serving a 35 year long career, that was marked by four postings in America.

Sandhu, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, served as the ambassador in Washington DC since early 2020.  He also served as deputy chief of mission between 2013 and 2016, under external affairs minister S Jaishankar who was then serving as the ambassador to DC.

Sandhu’s first posting to US was as a young political officer handling the US Congress in the wake of the nuclear tests in 1998, giving him a deep grounding in American politics.  He has also served stint in India’s permanent mission to the UN in New York.

Sandhu was set to retire in January 2023,  but a 1-year extension was given.  The last year proved to be a milestone year for India-US  relationship as both both sides agreed on the GE jet engine deal, major investments in the semiconductor space, the agreement on Predator drones, and a decision to deepen collaboration across multiple global theatres. During the Indian presidency of G20, Sandhu also played a role in ensuring that the US remained broadly supportive of New Delhi’s quest for a consensus-based declaration.

His grandfather, Teja Singh Samundri, was one of the early leaders of the Gurudwara reform movement. He is the only non-guru in whose memory there is a building in the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. His father, Bishan Singh Samundri, was the first Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar. He recently wrote an ode to his father on his birthday, “Remembering my father Prof Bishan Singh Samundri on his birthday. An agriculture scientist in Punjab, he went to US for higher studies on scholarship and returned home to serve as the Principal of historic Khalsa College at Amritsar and later founder vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.”

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