New Delhi: Seasoned diplomat Ranjan Mathai, India’s ambassador to France, will be the next foreign secretary, succeeding Nirupama Rao.
A 1974-batch IFS officer, 59-year-old Mathai will assume charge on 1 August and will have a two-year term, official spokesperson Vishnu Prakash announced on Monday.
He will occupy the top post at a time when India’s relations with Pakistan are gradually getting back on track and its strategic partnership with the US has reached new heights.
Mathai, who did his M.A in Political science from Pune University, has served in Indian missions in Vienna, Colombo, Washington, Tehran and Brussels.
As joint secretary in the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi between January 1995 to February 1998, he headed the division dealing with India’s relations with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Maldives.
He also served as Indian Ambassador to Israel from February 1998 to June 2001 and Qatar from August 2001 to July 2005.
He held the post of deputy high commissioner in India’s mission in the UK from August 2005 to January 2007.
Rao, whose tenure ends on 31 July, has been appointed as India’s ambassador to the United States.