Mr A. Peter Burleigh has assumed duties as the new Charge d’Affaires of the United States Mission in India, a statement issued by the US Embassy here said.
Ambassador Burleigh’s interim appointment by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reflects the U.S. Government’s emphasis on assuring highest-level representation and continuity in U.S. Indian relations, it said.
Mr Burleigh’s substantial diplomatic experience and many years in South Asia will provide leadership of the U.S. Mission in India and continue to nurture the important bilateral relationship until a permanent Ambassador is named in the months ahead, it said.
Mr Burleigh is a career U.S. Foreign Service officer who served as Ambassador and Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations before he retired after 33 years of service in August 2000. Prior to his U.N. post, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives (1995-1997).
Ambassador Burleigh held a number of senior positions at the State Department and served in United States embassies in Nepal, Bahrain, and India, as well as Sri Lanka.
He received his undergraduate degree from Colgate University, served in the Peace Corps (1963-1965) in Nepal, doing community development work in the far west of that country, and spent a year on a Fulbright scholarship in Nepal.
Mr Burleigh speaks Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, and Sinhalese. Since January, 2004, he has been living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and serving as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Miami, the release added.