Timothy J. Roemer nominated as US ambassador to India news


28 May 2009

Washington: US president Barack Obama on Wednesday named former US congressman Timothy John "Tim" Roemer to be the US ambassador to India, the White House said.

Roemer, who served on the 9/11 Commission investigating the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States and on a key committee to prevent nuclear proliferation, will "strengthen our partnerships abroad at this critical time for our nation and the world," Obama said in the statement, referring to a host of ambassadorial appointments.

Roemer will replace Ambassador David Campbell Mulford.

In the Democratic presidential primaries, Roemer endorsed Barack Obama and campaigned vigorously for him, particularly in his home state of Indiana. Roemer's bipartisan politics and national security experience even led to the speculation that he could be a possible vice presidential running mate for Obama.

Roemer is described as a moderate in politics and has a distinguished track record in the field of education and national security.

National Security
Though he eventually voted against the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Roemer was an original sponsor of the legislation to create the DHS. He was one of the first members of Congress to call for a Cabinet-level federal executive department to oversee national security.

Tim Roemer was a member of the 9/11 Commission and now serves on the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, a bipartisan commission created by Congress in 2007 as an outgrowth of the reforms put forth by the 9/11 Commission. The Commission is meant to examine how the United States can best address this threat to its national security.

In addition, Roemer serves on the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Presidential Task force on Combating the Ideology of Radical Extremism, and the National Parks Second Century Commission.

Roemer has devoted much of his time to improving education. He was the principal author the Ed-Flex bill, which sought innovative approaches to education and also the chief sponsor of the "Transition to Teaching" bill. This bill helped address teacher shortages by recruiting and training professionals to become teachers.

Roemer was also the lead sponsor of the Higher Education Act, which reduced interest rates on student loans, increased Pell Grants, increased funding for teacher training, and expanded aid to families.

Tim Roemer was a principal sponsor of the AmeriCorps national service program, and a co-author of a bill to expand Head Start services to provide childcare coverage for women moving from welfare to work.

He co-wrote legislation on reauthorize Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, wrote an amendment to tax relief legislation for teacher certification of professionals in outside fields. He co-authored "School-to-Work" legislation to help non-college-bound high school students learn skills to prepare them for the workforce.

In his final term in Congress, Roemer was instrumental in passing the No Child Left Behind Act and pushed for full funding for the programme.

Roemer married Sally Johnston, the daughter of former US Senator for Louisiana Bennett Johnston Jr., in 1999. They have four children.

Roemer is a Roman Catholic and lives in Great Falls, Virginia.