Ambassador Richard Verma will share his perspective on international law, through the lens of his diplomatic career, when he delivers the John Sumner Stead Annual Lecture at the UB School of Law at 5 p.m. on Nov. 26. The theme of his talk is “International Law in Practice: A Diplomat’s Journey.” The public is invited to attend.
As vice chairman and partner at The Asia Group, he leads the firm’s growth in South Asia. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017, where he is credited for the historic deepening of bilateral ties. A leading expert on trade and diplomacy in Asia, Ambassador Verma brings 25 years of experience across senior levels of business, law, diplomacy, and the military.
Nominated as U.S. Ambassador to India by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Ambassador Verma oversaw one of the largest U.S. diplomatic missions in the world, including four consulates with staff from nearly every agency in the U.S. Government. During his tenure, he championed historic progress in U.S.-India relations, with critical evolutions to bilateral cooperation in defense, trade, and clean energy. The Ambassador also oversaw several meetings between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi – leading to over 100 new initiatives and more than 40 government-to-government dialogues.
Ambassador Verma was previously the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, where he led the State Department’s efforts on Capitol Hill. He served for many years as the Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader and also worked in the House of Representatives. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served on active duty as a Judge Advocate. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
In addition to his role at The Asia Group, Ambassador Verma is a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award, the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and the Chief Justice John Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was ranked by India Abroad as one of the 50 most influential Indian Americans. Ambassador Verma holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center (LLM), American University’s Washington College of Law (JD), and Lehigh University (BS).