Mr. Navtej Sarna, the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, was today appointed as the country's next Ambassador to the United States.
Mr. Sarna, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1980 batch, is expected to take up the assignment shortly, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
Mr. Sarna, 58, had been appointed as the High Commissioner in London in November last year. Before that, he had served as Secretary (West) in the MEA.
A well-known author and columnist, Mr. Sarna had earlier served as Joint Secretary (External Publicity) and official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs between October 2002 and September 2008 in the longest stint for anyone so far in that key position.
He was later posted to Israel as the Ambassador of India before returning to MEA headquarters here.
He has also served in the Indian missions in Moscow, Warsaw, Thimphu, Geneva, Tehran and Washington.
His books include "We Weren't Lovers Like That", a novel; "The Exile": a novel based on the life of Maharaja Duleep Singh; and "The Book of Nanak", a work of non-fiction.
He has been contributing regularly to journals and newspapers in India and abroad including The Times Literary Supplement, The Hindu, India Today, Outlook and so on.
Born on December 2, 1957, Mr. Sarna has degrees in Commerce and Law from the University of Delhi and a diploma in journalism. He is married to Dr. Avina Sarna and they have a son and a daughter.