NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Mumbai-born Ashley Tellis has been pegged as a candidate for the U.S. ambassador to India in the Trump administration, according to a Monday report from The Washington Post.

Tellis, who a decade ago played a crucial role in the negotiation of a nuclear accord between the U.S. and India, is being considered, according to transition sources, the report said, adding the appointment would be part of Trump’s larger plan to shift focus on Asia.

Currently a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank, Tellis is viewed as someone that could help the Trump administration keep a hawkish line on China and be a strong partner in the region. He would replace outgoing ambassador Richard Verma, who tweeted on Sunday night that he would be departing his post on the day of Trump’s inauguration.

“I will depart as U.S. Ambassador to India on January 20; it has been a great honor to serve India,” Verma tweeted.

Tellis is known publicly for supporting the efforts of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose administration has had a strong focus on constantly improving U.S.-India relations. Tellis and the prime minister previously met when Modi was received at his think tank in April of last year.

Tellis has served on the U.S. National Security Council as a special assistant to former President George W. Bush and senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia. Additionally, he served at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi as senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador and has also served in the White House.

Respected globally as a senior authority on Indian foreign policy, Tellis has also authored several books and articles on India’s nuclear program and Asia’s security issues.