Washington, DC – On the crisp sunny morning of February 3, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the new Indian Ambassador to the US landed at JFK airport in New York He was warmly welcomed by a team of diplomats led by Sandeep Chakravorty, Chief of the Indian Mission in New York.
Welcoming Sandhu, Chakravorty tweeted: “Delighted to welcome Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu at New York’s JFK airport on his way to Washington to assume charge as Ambassador of India to the United States of America.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, a former diplomat himself, made a pragmatic and wise decision to send Sandhu here, to continue the dynamic momentum generated by the outgoing Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Ambassador Shringla took over as the new Foreign Secretary of India.
Sandhu, who was High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, is no stranger here and has not only a name recognition but also a conspicuous presence with colorful Sikh turbans and soft-spoken personality.
The diplomatic circles, the diaspora, the corridors of power in the State Department and the White House plus the labyrinth of lobbyists and offices of the lawmakers, all are abuzz with the news of returning ace-diplomat Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
Sandhu has previously performed multiple stints in the US, the latest being as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) from 2013 to 2017 at the capital Washington DC, where he was the First Secretary (Political), responsible for liaison with the United States Congress from 1997-2000. and has dealt with the international diplomatic community at the UN in New York from 2005 to 2009.
Sandhu is credited with grasping many opportunities to further cement bilateral ties with the US, while also working successfully to restore US confidence in India after the sanctions were imposed by the US following the nuclear tests of 1998.
In addition to his tenures in the US, Sandhu served as Consul General of India in Frankfurt from September 2011 to July 2013. He served in the Ministry of External Affairs from March 2009 to August 2011, as Joint Secretary (United Nations) and later as Joint Secretary (Administration) heading the Human Resource Division. High Commissioner. Sandhu had also served earlier in 2000-2004 as the Head of the Political Wing in the High Commission of India, Colombo.
In a distinguished career spanning nearly thirty years after joining Indian Foreign Service in 1988, High Commissioner Sandhu’s various assignments have included working in the former Soviet Union (Russia) from 1990 to 1992 as Third Secretary (Political) / Second Secretary (Commercial). Following the breakup of Soviet Union, he was sent to open a new Embassy in Ukraine. He served as Head of Political and Administration Wings in Indian Embassy in Kiev from 1992 to 1994. On his return to India, he served as Officer on Special Duty (Press Relations), Ministry of External Affairs from 1994 to March 1997. He was responsible for liaison with foreign media in India.
Sandhu got a History Honors from St. Stephens’ College, Delhi and pursued a Masters Degree in International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. High Commissioner Sandhu is married to Reenat Sandhu, who is Ambassador of India to Italy.