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Biden announces intent to appoint ex-US ambassador to India Richard Verma to his IAB

US President Joe Biden has announced his intent to appoint Indian-American lawyer diplomat Richard Verma, also a former US ambassador to India, as a member of his Intelligence Advisory Board.

The President's Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) is an independent element within his Executive Office.

According to a White House statement on Wednesday, President Biden has announced his intent to appoint Verma to his Intelligence Advisory Board.

Verma, 53, is currently the general counsel and head of Global Public Policy for Mastercard. In this role, he oversees the company's law and policy functions in the United States and around the world.

Verma, a member of Biden's Democratic Party, was the US Ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017.

"He previously served as the US Ambassador to India, where he led one of the largest US diplomatic missions and championed historic progress in bilateral ties," the White House said.

A former assistant secretary of state and the former national security advisor to the Senate Majority Leader, Verma is a veteran of the US Air Force, and the recipient of numerous military awards and civilian decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal and the State Department's Distinguished Service Award, it said.

He was a member of the WMD and Terrorism Commission and currently serves on a number of boards including those of Ford Foundation, Lehigh University and National Endowment for Democracy.

Verma is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and he holds multiple academic degrees, including a doctorate (PhD) from Georgetown University and a law degree (J.D.) from American University.

The PIAB exists exclusively to assist the President by providing the President with an independent source of advice on the effectiveness with which the Intelligence Community is meeting the nation's intelligence needs and the vigour and insight with which the community plans for the future. The President is able to appoint up to 16 members of the Board, the White House said.

According to the White House announcement, Admiral (retd) James A "Sandy" Winnefeld, has been appointed as chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.

Gilman G Louie and Janet A Napolitano were also appointed as members of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, the White House said.

Admiral Winnefeld retired after serving as the ninth vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it said.

Napolitano served as secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013. Gilman Louie is CEO and co-founder of America's Frontier Fund, the public-private partnership created to ensure that America leads the next wave of technology innovation, it added.

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