Nirupama Rao to be next Foreign Secretary

New Delhi, June 30: Nirupama Rao, India’s Ambassador to China, will be the next Foreign Secretary becoming the second woman to hold the post of the top diplomat at a time when India’s relations with Pakistan are going through tough times in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack.

The 1973-batch IFS officer will succeed Shivshankar Menon who will be retiring on July 31 after an eventful three-year stint as Foreign Secretary.

The decision to appoint Rao as the Foreign Secretary was taken by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet today.

During her chequered career, the 58-year-old seasoned diplomat has served in various key positions, including India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and China and first woman spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry.