Nirupama Rao to take over as new Foreign Secretary on Aug. 1

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New Delhi, July 31 (ANI): Seasoned diplomat Nirupama Rao will take over as the new Foreign Secretary tomorrow.

Rao, a 1973-batch IFS officer, is the second woman to hold the post of the top diplomat after Chokila Iyer and will succeed Shivshankar Menon, who is retiring on Friday. The 58-year-old diplomat, who was ambassador to China before her new assignment, will have a tenure of 17 months as the top foreign ministry official.

She will take charge at a time when India and Pakistan are going through tough times in the aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks.

Prior to her posting in Beijing as Ambassador, Rao served as India"s envoy to Sri Lanka and was the country"""s first woman spokesperson.

Previously, Rao had served in the Indian Missions in Washington and Moscow besides having a stint in the Ministry of External Affairs as Joint Secretary (East Asia) for eight years.

Earlier this month, Rao had told ANI TV during a trip to Japan that she is looking forward to her new assignment with optimism and is ready for the challenges that comes with job.

"I will look forward to the new assignment with great deal of optimism and sense of anticipation. I'm fully aware that there will be challenges to be met, I'll look forward to it," Rao told ANI. (ANI)

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