Shiv Shankar Menon, seasoned diplomat and highly regarded Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, will take over as new Foreign Secretary on Sunday.
The 1972-batch officer succeeds Shyam Saran who has been appointed as Special Envoy for negotiations relating to the Indo-US deal after his retirement.
Menon, who will have tenure of about three years, supersedes 15 senior IFS officers of two batches.
Prior to his posting to Pakistan three years ago, the 57-year-old diplomat was India's envoy to China. He has also served in Japan, Israel, Austria and Sri Lanka. He had a stint in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) as an Adviser.
Menon, who has served in the crucial Pakistan division of the External Affairs Ministry for several years, was appointed as envoy in Islamabad at a critical time when the relations between the two countries were at a low.
He is credited with playing a stellar role in rejuvenating the ties and lending impetus to peace process.
Menon has been a key votary of people-to-people contact between the two neighbours and has pursued this objective vigorously.
His stint in Beijing was also significant as it marked improvement in Sino-India relations, the high point being the visit of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.