Nirupama Rao, named as the next Foreign Secretary, served in the East Asia Division of the Ministry from 1984 to 1992, including as Joint Secretary (East Asia). She also has had extensive experience in relations between India and China.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Nirupama Rao as the next Foreign Secretary,” a government statement said on Tuesday.
The Kerala-born 1973-batch IFS officer would have a tenure of nearly one-and-a-half years as the country’s top diplomat.
Her stint in Washington was from 1993-1995, where she was a Minister in the Indian embassy in charge of press affairs,” a senior official said.
Rao was India’s ambassador to Peru from 1995 to 1998. In 1999-2000, she was Distinguished International Executive in Residence at the University of Maryland, USA.
“Her early education took place in cities all over India, including Bangalore, Pune, Lucknow, Coonoor (Tamil Nadu). She holds a Masters Degree in English Literature from Marathwada University (1972),” the official said.
As Additional Secretary, she was in charge of administration and personnel. Since late October 2006, Rao has been India’s to People’s Republic of China.
She is a Fellow of the Centre for International Affairs (now the Weatherhead Centre) of Harvard University from 1992-93. Married to Sudhakar Rao, Chief Secretary, Karnataka, they have two sons. “Her hobbies include music (Hindustani, Carnatic and Western), theatre and writing.