Rao to be Indian foreign secy

NEW DELHI: Nirupama Rao, who is currently serving as India’s ambassador to China, will be the new Foreign Secretary of the country when Shivshankar Menon’s term expires on July 31.

The cabinet appointment committee today approved 59-year-old Rao for the coveted post. Rao, who was the first woman spokesperson for the ministry, joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1973. Rao was a Fellow of the Centre for International Affairs (now the Weatherhead Centre) of Harvard University from 1992-93.

She has served in several world capitals, including Washington and Moscow. Rao was Minister in the Indian Embassy in Washington from 1993-1995, in charge of Press Affairs. She was Ambassador of India to Peru from 1995 to 1998. From 1998-1999, she was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Moscow.  She is also an accomplished singer in her own right.

Rao was born in Kerala on 6 December 1950.  Her schooling 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.