Rao, a 1973-batch IFS officer will replace Meera Shankar as the Indian ambassador to US. Rao served a key position and had been India's envoy to various foreign countries, including China and Sri Lanka.
She (Rao) has also been the only women spokesperson in the MEA. She had earlier served in Washington as a junior diplomat.
Rao recently met her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir in Thimphu and played a crucial role during India and Pakistan's foreign ministers' meet.
Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar recently visited India and met her Indian counterpart SM Krishna. Khar, the ravishing beauty sparked some row over her meeting with Hurriyat leaders.