Peter Burleigh, author of Rahul Gandhi cable, to be new US Ambassador to India

Former US representative to the United Nations, Peter Burleigh has taken over as the US ambassador to India.

Burleigh, a former in-charge of the US embassy in New Delhi, had been impressed by Rahul Gandhi’s political skills, as revealed by a cable authored by him in 2009 and leaked by Wikileaks.

In the cable, he had pointed out that Rahul was no “dilettante” in politics, but was a “practiced politician” and was “precise and articulate and demonstrated a mastery” over his topics.

He replaces Timothy (Tim) Roemer, who resigned two months ago citing personal reasons, but setting off speculation that his move was a fall-out of the US losing a lucrative fighter jet contract from the Indian Air Force.

Peter Burleigh, who was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Hollywood High School, has spent most of his 44 year career in the United States Foreign Service deal with Asia and the Middle East and “is fluent in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, and Sinhalese.”

Burleigh, who retired from the Foreign Service eleven years ago, has received a Presidential Distinguished Service Award by President Clinton.

Peter Burleigh’s CV

Ambassador and Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations (1997 – 1999)

Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives (1995-1997)

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Personnel (1992-1995)

Principal Coordinator of the Office of Counter-Terrorism (1991-1992)

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (1989-1991)

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (1987-1989)

Head of the State Department office responsible for Iran and Iraq (1985-1987)

Deputy Director for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates

Rahul Gandhi no dilettante in politics: US Ambassador