India: A Global Actor in the Geopolitical Arena
Join the Embassy of India, the Brussels Diplomatic Academy, the Policy Center for the New South and our guests for a wide-ranging Webinar on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on the topic “India: A Global Actor in the Geopolitical Arena.”
This panel is part of a series of important public diplomacy events in celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. It aims to explore a series of vital questions including India’s role on the world stage, the country as an actor in the Indo-Pacific Theatre, its relationship with Africa, the USA & China, and initiatives at vaccine diplomacy and experience in weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Santosh Jha, Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union
Ambassador Santosh Jha assumed the position of Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union on 17 July 2020.Prior to coming to Brussels, he was Ambassador of India in Uzbekistan from July 2019 to July 2020. Earlier, from July 2017 to June 2019, he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC with a personal rank of Ambassador. Ambassador Jha also has the pleasure of serving at the Indian Embassy in Brussels earlier from 2010 to 2013, when he was the Deputy Chief of Mission. During this time, he also had the distinction of serving as Charge d' Affaires from January to September 2012.
Between 2013 and 2017, Ambassador Jha headed several Divisions in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). From July 2013 to September 2014, he headed the MEA Division for Human Resources and Management Affairs. From October 2014 to April 2015, he headed the MEA Division for relations with Western Europe and the European Union.From April 2015 to July 2017, he headed MEA's Policy Planning Division, in which capacity he helped rebuild the Division into an institution capable of responding to India's growing global engagements. During this time, he was also closely associated with formulation of key Indian foreign policy initiatives and for establishment of a number of strategic dialogue forums, most notably the globally reputed RAISINA Dialogue in New Delhi. During this period, Ambassador Jha also handled matters related to Counter Terrorism and Cyber Security, and in 2016-17, represented India at the meeting of UN Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Development in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the context of International Security.
In addition to the above, Ambassador Jha has served in different capacities at Delhi (2004-2007) and at Indian Missions in Moscow (1995-1998), Vladivostok (1998-2000), New York (2000-2004), and Colombo (2007-2010). Between 2004 and 2007, assigned to the Americas Division of the MEA, Ambassador Jha served as a member of the negotiating team for the India-US nuclear agreement and was closely associated with the development of India-US relations, in particular, in the fields of space, nuclear, defense and high technology. Ambassador Jha has the experience of serving as a member of negotiating teams for Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Sri Lanka and the European Union respectively. He is also credited with helping erect the architecture for development cooperation between India and Sri Lanka following the end of civil conflict in that country in 2009. Ambassador Jha holds a Master's Degree in History from the University of Delhi. He speaks English, Russian, Hindi and Maithili. He is married with a daughter and a son.
Len Ishmael, Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South