WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — India’s Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, is set to retire at the end of January, concluding a distinguished 35-year career marked by four postings in America. Initially scheduled to retire in January 2023, Sandhu’s tenure was extended for an additional year until January 2024 due to his exceptional political acumen.

Sandhu, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, assumed the role in early 2020, navigating through the challenges of the tumultuous presidency of Donald Trump and the transformative period under Joe Biden. Serving as deputy chief of mission from 2013 to 2016, he worked closely with external affairs minister S Jaishankar, gaining a deep understanding of American politics during his first posting in 1998.

The past year was particularly crucial for India-US relations, witnessing the launch of the initiative on critical and emerging technologies (iCET) and a successful state visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington. Sandhu played a pivotal role in securing broad support from the U.S. for New Delhi’s consensus-based declaration during the G20 summit.

Despite challenges, including addressing a hostile Congress and navigating through the Devyani Khobragade incident, Sandhu’s genial approach and patient engagement were praised by analysts. Ashley J Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace commended Sandhu for changing minds by tugging at the heart, fostering a deeper understanding of India’s perspectives among American interlocutors.

Sandhu’s wife, Reenat Sandhu, currently serving as India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, comes from a family with a rich legacy in Punjab. His grandfather, Teja Singh Samundri, was a leader in the Gurudwara reform movement, and his father, Bishan Singh Samundri, was the first Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar.

Mukesh Aghi, president and CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, lauded Sandhu as “one of the most effective Indian ambassadors” to the U.S., emphasizing his positive coordination in the strategic partnership. As Sandhu bids farewell, his bipartisan legacy and contributions to strengthening India-US ties will be remembered with admiration and respect.