Indian-American lawyer Manisha Singh has taken charge as the US Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs. She has become the first woman to hold the key post at the US State Department.
Singh is now effectively in charge of the US's economic diplomacy. She had been nominated by the Donald Trump administration in September. Her appointment had been confirmed by the US Senate in the first week of November.
The key post that Singh has taken up has been empty since January, when Obama-appointee Charles Rivkin quit the post.
Singh, 45, has had an earlier stint in the State Department, towards the end of the George W Bush presidency. She had served as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs. At the time of nomination for the State Department job, Singh was chief counsel and senior adviser to US Senator Dan Sullivan.
"She comes to the department with a wealth of experience that will benefit our economic and business efforts abroad… We're pleased to have her back again at the State Department, as she will now lead our efforts to promote prosperity for Americans at home and abroad," said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert during a briefing on Tuesday.
Singh's family reportedly hails from Uttar Pradesh and moved to the US when she was a child, and she speaks fluent Hindi.
She holds an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from the American University WashingtonCollege of Law, a JD from the University of Florida College of Law and aBA. from the University of Miami at the age of 19.
She also studied at the University of Leiden Law School in the Netherlands. She is licensed to practice law in Florida, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. She is a member of the South Asian Bar Association.