New Delhi: India will have its new Foreign Secretary from May 1, 2022, in Vinay Mohan Kwatra. He would succeed incumbent Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who retires on April 30.
Kwatra is an IFS officer of the 1988 batch and has the experience of working in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as a joint secretary during Narendra Modi’s stint from October 2015 to August 2017.
The new foreign secretary is taking charge at a challenging time when there is a severe economic situation globally and there are geopolitical developments, including the Ukraine conflict, the economic crisis in Sri Lanka and challenging situations in Afghanistan and developments in the Indo-Pacific.
Again, from August 2017 till February 2020, Kwatra served as the Ambassador of India to France and was actively involved in implementing the Rafale fighter jet deal. He has been serving as India’s envoy in Kathmandu since January 2020.
His appointment was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Appointments on Monday, April 4.
Kwatra is well aware of the dynamics involved in the bilateral relationship with the US and China.
He was posted in Beijing twice between 2003 and 2006 in different capacities.
From mid-2010 till July 2013, he served as minister (commerce) in the Embassy of India, Washington D. C.
Shringla, who joined the IFS in 1984, had taken over as the Foreign Secretary in January 2020.