NEW DELHI: India’s new foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra served in the PMO from October 2015 to August 2017.
He is currently India’s Ambassador to Nepal and will be assuming charge as foreign secretary on April 30, succeeding Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
Kwatra will be the second Indian Ambassador from Nepal to become foreign secretary after Shyam Saran in 2004.
The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet approved his appointment on Monday. Key diplomatic assignments in the neighbourhood are given to foreign service officers with inter-ministerial experience. That is how Kwatra, who was JS in the PMO, was selected as Ambassador to Nepal, say sources.
Having over 32 years of experience, Kwatra served as a Third Secretary and then Second Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva until 1993. Apart from learning French, he handled work relating to the UN specialised agencies and the Human Rights Commission. He also obtained a diploma in International Relations from the Graduate School of International Studies in Geneva. Between 1993 and 2003 he served as the Desk Officer at UN Headquarters and subsequently to diplomatic missions in South Africa and Uzbekistan.
Between 2003 and 2006 he served as Counsellor and later as Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India in Beijing. From 2006 to 2010 he represented India at the Saarc Secretariat in Nepal as the head of trade, economy and finance bureau. From May 2010 till July 2013, he served as Minister (Commerce) in Washington.
Between July 2013 and October 2015, he headed Policy Planning and Research Division of the MEA and also served as head of the Americas Division in the MEA. From August 2017 to February 2020, he was India’s Ambassador to France. He then took charge as Ambassador of Nepal in March 2020.
The 57-year-old Kwatra is a 1988-batch IFS officer. He is married and has two sons.