Mumbai-born Ashley Tellis to be next US ambassador to India

Well-known South Asia expert Ashley J Tellis could be US President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be the next US ambassador to India, a leading American newspaper has reported.

While Trump has an altogether different perception of the economy and the world, the transition team is building on President Barack Obama's Pivot to Asia policy, a Washington Post article on Monday pointed out.

The report said that picks for ambassadorial positions in Asia were ''outpacing'' those in other regions. Quoting ''transition sources'', the article said that Trump was ''close to selecting Ashley Tellis, a former White House official and renowned India expert, to be the next US ambassador to India''

Tellis, however, is reported to be no big fan of Trump and his selection comes as a surprise to many.

Tellis is very well known to the current foreign policy leadership, especially foreign secretary S Jaishankar, as both were involved in negotiating the civil nuclear agreement.

The Mumbai-born Tellis was a senior advisor to the state department's under-secretary of state for political affairs during the nuclear negotiations.

He has previously served as senior advisor to the US ambassador to Delhi, Robert Blackwill; National Security Council special assistant to the president and senior director for strategic planning in Southwest Asia.

Tellis is currently a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Incidentally, Richard Verma, who will be leaving on 20 January, is also of Indian origin.