Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake, Jr.
for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs today said the bond between the U.S. and India is stronger every day.
In his remarks at the American India Foundation Dinner, Mr. Blake India’s long-standing and significant support for philanthropy and for stronger U.S.-India ties is a model and inspiration for all.
“The real people that deserve recognition are the men and women of my bureau who do so much every day to advance our interests and our partnership with India.” -Mr. Blake
He said he first encountered AIF when he was the DCM in India and was asked in 2003 by AIF to brief a group of 20 fellows who had arrived in India for some brief training before beginning a year of service in India.
“No diaspora community is more energetic and successful than our Indian-American community.” – Mr. Blake
He reported that there are some three million Indian Americans in this country. The Indian Americans have among the highest if not the highest per capita incomes of all groups in the United States.
“And Indian Americans are increasingly seeing their influence grow, whether by election of political stars such as Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, or through the creation of organizations such as AIF.” -Mr. Blake
He stressed that his experiences in India and elsewhere in South Asia taught him that there are tremendous opportunities for the U.S. Government to work with the diaspora to accomplish their goals.
“I applaud everyone here tonight for your efforts in helping to bring our two great nations, two great democracies and ever closer together.” – Mr. Blake