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Pitt-Johnstown Board Member Nominated for State Department Post

Pitt-Johnstown Board Member Nominated for State Department Post

Article Body     University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Advisory Board Member Mr. Richard K. Verma has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the United States State Department.   In his new role, Mr. Verma will work closely with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to promote US foreign policy and advance democracy and peace around the world.

      “This is a most-impressive accomplishment for Rich, who has been a true friend to Pitt-Johnstown, and an exemplary member of our Advisory Board” commented Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar.  “Rich is not only a highly accomplished professional, but a first-class person who has demonstrated his strong dedication to our country and community in countless ways.   This nomination is testament to his outstanding character and intellect, and passion for public service to our country. We are Mountain Cat proud of Mr. Verma and his exceptional achievement.”

     A partner at the international law firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Mr. Verma served for several years as Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed.  In 2008, he was appointed to serve on the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.  The commission's comprehensive report, “World At Risk” was released in December.  Mr. Verma is a veteran of the US Air Force, a former country director for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, has worked in the House of Representatives.  He also served as a member of the Obama/Biden Defense Department Transition Team. 

     Mr. Verma holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center, American University’s Washington College of Law, and Lehigh University.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, was formerly an International Affairs Fellow of the Council, and has served on the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Law.

     Mr. Verma is the son of Pitt-Johnstown Professor of English Literature Dr. Kamal Verma, a noted scholar who spearheads the South Asian Review and has mentored many of our students to publish in that fine journal.

     “Recognized as one of the most influential Indian-Americans, Mr. Verma’s accomplishment is even more monumental and illuminates the promise at the heart of the American dream,” commented President Spectar.

     Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic development, Pitt-Johnstown offers a first-class educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.

Posted by Knipple, Robert on 3/16/2009 2:10:00 PM