Ambassador Nirupama Rao was Foreign Secretary in the Government of India from 2009-2011, and earlier served as Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka, and Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. She was Ambassador of India to the United States from 2011 to 2013. On retirement, Rao was a Fellow at Brown University and also taught there from 2015 to 2016. She was George Ball Adjunct Professor at Columbia University in fall 2018. In 2019, she was a Pacific Leadership Fellow at the University of California, San Diego. She is a Global Fellow of The Woodrow Wilson Center, in Washington, D.C.; a Member of the Board of Governors of IIM, Bangalore; Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi; and on the Board of the U.S.-India Business Council. She holds a degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from Pondicherry University and is a recipient of the Vanitha Ratna Award of the Government of Kerala.

From 1992 to 1993, Rao was a Fellow at the Center for International Affairs (now the Weatherhead Center) at Harvard University.

Rao is the founder trustee of The South Asian Symphony Foundation and has established the South Asian Symphony Orchestra. This is a project aimed at greater people-to-people connectivity in South Asia and among the South Asian diaspora.

Rao is the author of The Fractured Himalaya: India, Tibet, China 1949 to 1962 (Penguin Random House India, 2021).

Last Updated: December 16, 2021



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