UNI alumna sworn in as first U.S. woman Ambassador to India

University of Northern Iowa alumna Nancy Powell is America's first female Ambassador to India. The Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, at a recent ceremony, swore her in for her new assignment.

U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell

UNI alumna Nancy Powell at her swearing in ceremony.
She is the first 
U.S. woman Ambassador to India.

Powell has an extensive relationship with India – she was a diplomat there between 1992 and 1995. "I had a wonderful three years in India as consul general in Kolkata and Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs in New Delhi," said Powell at her swearing in ceremony. "I'm anxious to connect with old friends and revisit favorite places, but I'm not focused on reliving the past, I'm looking forward. Looking forward to experiencing first hand the dynamism of India's society, democracy and economy."

A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Powell was born in 1947, and earned a B.A. in history teaching at UNI in 1970. She taught high school social studies in Dayton, Iowa before joining the Foreign Services as a refugee assistance officer in 1977.

Her professional background includes assignments with the Bureau of African Affairs, the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau, National Intelligence Council and more.

Powell most recently served as the director general of the Foreign Service and director of human resources in Washington D.C. Earlier in her career, Powell was the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Uganda.

During her time in India, Powell plans to be a "frequent flyer to all corners of India, enjoying their famous hospitality and hopes to be able to connect with the people in person."

"I'm impressed by how much deeper and broader Indian-American relations have become and how much greater role India now plays in addressing the world's challenges," said Powell in a video message to the people of India.

For more information about Powell and her new assignment as U.S. Ambassador to India, watch the U.S. Embassy of New Delhi's YouTube video.