Obama nominates Indian-origin as ambassador to Malaysia

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on divisiveness in U.S. politics at the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has nominated an Indian-origin diplomat as the next American ambassador to Malaysia.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir would replace Joseph Y Yun as the next US ambassador to Malaysia.

Nomination of Lakhdhir, a career member of the Foreign Service Class of Counselor who was Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2011 to 2015, was announced by the White House along with several other key administration appointments.

“I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for their service. I look forward to working with them,” Obama said.

Lakhdhir served as the US Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom from 2009 to 2011.

She previously worked in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs as the Director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia from 2007 to 2009 and as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 to 2006.

From 2001 to 2005, she was a Political Officer at the US embassy in Beijing.

From 2000 to 2001, she served as a Pearson Fellow in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee and the House Financial Services Committee, Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee.

Since joining the Foreign Service in 1991, Lakhdhir has also served as a Political Officer in Indonesia and as a Consular Officer in Saudi Arabia.

She received a BA from Harvard College and an MS from the National War College.

Kamla’s father Noor Lakhdhir was born in Mumbai in mid 1920s.

He received a scholarship to study at the University of California, Berkeley from where he graduated in 1952. He later moved to New York City.–PTI

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