Kenneth I. Juster, the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council at the White House, has been nominated as the next U.S ambassador to India. The appointment will take effect once the U.S Senate confirms him. The post is vacant since January 20, 2017. Juster has been a strong supporter of India-U.S ties and played a key role in the civil nuclear deal and in the advancement of defence ties between the two countries when he was under secretary of Commerce under former president George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the co-chair of the U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group set up during the George W. Bush presidency, and was instrumental in the formation of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership, a diplomatic initiative between the United States and India on cooperation in strategic areas such as nuclear, space and military, in 2004.