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Puneet Talwar confirmed in key US State Department job

Friday, 14 March 2014 - 8:57pm IST | Place: Washington | Agency: IANS

Yet another Indian American, Puneet Talwar, a longtime White House national security staffer, has been confirmed by the US Senate as the State Department's new assistant secretary for political-military affairs.

Talwar, a former adviser to then Senator Joseph Biden, would become the second Indian American assistant secretary in the State Department after Nisha Desai, who is the point person for South and Central Asia.

Talwar, who was confirmed Thursday by voice vote, will be taking over the bureau that manages US defence exports as well as serving as the bridge between the defence department and State.

During his December confirmation hearing before the committee, Talwar emphasised the need to maintain strong defence relationships internationally.

He has been working as special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior director for Iran, Iraq and the Gulf states on the National Security Staff since 2009.

Before joining the White House, Talwar had served as a senior staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and adviser to then committee chairman Biden.

He served as a member of the Department of State's Policy Planning Staff from 1999 to 2001.

From 1992 to 1995, he served as a foreign policy advisor to the House of Representatives member Thomas C. Sawyer and from 1990 to 1992 as an official with the UN.

He received a BS from Cornell University and an MA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

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