Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, who retires from her post on July 31 this year, is set to become India’s next ambassador to the US, senior government officials told HT.
Rao, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1973 batch, will succeed Meera Shankar.
A formal announcement is expected soon, officials added.
Rao appointment to Washington comes at a time when India-US relations are in search of a big bang after signing the nuclear deal. The deal itself is mired in a host issues stemming from liability issues.
Rao, the first woman spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs, was country’s ambassador to Sri Lanka and China before being appointed as the foreign secretary.
Nirupama Rao has had extensive experience in handling India-China relations. She had earlier served in the East-Asia Division of the MEA from 1984 to 1992, and had also been the joint secretary of the same division. She later served as India’s envoy in Beijing.
Though the race for the coveted post was a closely contested one, former cabinet secretary KM Chandrashekhar appointment as the Kerala state planning board vice-chairman seems to have made Rao’s case easy.