- Fall 2011
Timothy J. Roemer was nominated by U.S President Barack Obama as the 21st U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of India on May 27, 2009. His nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 10, 2009, he was sworn-in on July 23, 2009 in the State Department’s ceremonial Benjamin Franklin Treaty Room and he presented his credentials to Indian President Pratibha Patil on August 11, 2009.
Ambassador Roemer is charged with leading one of America’s largest diplomatic missions. Under the leadership of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ambassador Roemer has principal responsibility for broadening and deepening the multi-faceted U.S.-India partnership, as the world’s oldest and the world’s largest democracies address the challenges of the 21st century. Prior to his nomination as Ambassador to India, Ambassador Roemer was President of the Center for National Policy (CNP) in Washington, D.C. a moderate think-tank dedicated to sparking bipartisan dialogue and actively encouraging solutions to America’s most important national security challenges. Under his leadership, CNP was engaged in fostering productive dialogue by bringing together experts and policy makers to build consensus and political cooperation.
From 1991 to 2003 Ambassador Roemer represented the 3rd District of Indiana for six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. While serving as a Member of Congress, Roemer served on the Intelligence, Education and Workforce, and Science committees where he was deeply engaged in efforts to improve access to and standards of improved education. He was the principal author of the Ed-Flex bill, which encouraged states to seek innovative approaches to education and was the chief sponsor of the "Transition to Teaching" bill, which helped address U.S. teacher shortages by recruiting and training professionals as teachers. Roemer was also the lead sponsor of the Higher Education Act’s five-year reauthorization that reduced interest rates on student loans, provided funding for teacher training, and expanded aid to families. He was also instrumental in passing the landmark “No Child Left Behind” Act and pushed for full funding for the program. During his years in Congress, Ambassador Roemer was also deeply interested in youth service and opportunity creation. He was a principal sponsor of successful legislation to establish the AmeriCorps national service program, and a co-author of a bill to expand Head Start services that provide childcare coverage for women moving from welfare to work. He was engaged with legislation to support education for the disabled, to promote teacher certification for professionals from outside fields and to provide workforce training for non-college-bound high school students.
After September 11, 2001, Roemer was one of the first members of Congress to call for a Cabinet-level federal executive departments to oversee and improve our national security and homeland security response and was an original sponsor of the legislation to create the Department of Homeland Security, although he opposed the final legislation because of concerns about bureaucratic inefficiencies. Ambassador Roemer has served on a number of independent commissions concerned with national security matters. He was a member of the 9/11 Commission, as well as the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism. In addition, Roemer served on the Washington Institute’s Presidential Task Force on Combating the Ideology of Radical Extremism. As a Distinguished Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Ambassador Roemer worked with Members of Congress and staff to improve public policy outcomes by teaching on the legislative branch and policy analysis. Ambassador Roemer has served on the boards of the Oshkosh Corporation, the Adams Memorial Foundation, the Meridian International Center and the U.S. National Parks Second Century Commission.
Ambassador Roemer holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and a M.A. and PhD. in American Government from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Sally, have four children: Patrick, Matthew, Sarah and Grace. His interests include basketball, coaching his children in sports, reading history and biographies, and collecting first edition books.