Vikram Misri named new foreign secretary, Kwatra in race for ambassador to US

Kwatra is expected to be the next Ambassador to the US, people familiar with the matter said.
Vikram Misri named new foreign secretary, Kwatra in race for ambassador to US

NEW DELHI : Deputy National Security Advisor Vikram Misri is all set to take over as the next foreign secretary. He will replace Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who was given a six-month extension in service in March and is a front-runner for the post of Ambassador to the US.

“Vikram Misri, an Indian Foreign Service 1989 batch officer, will be appointed as the next foreign secretary with effect from July 15,’’ the Appointments Committee of Cabinet stated on Friday.

Misri, 59, known as a China expert, has served as a private secretary to three prime ministers including Narendra Modi, Dr Manmohan Singh and Inder Kumar Gujral.

As Ambassador to Beijing during 2019-21, he played a crucial role in contact with the Chinese government — specially after the military standoff in Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control in May 2020, in Galwan. He has also served as India’s ambassador to Spain (2014-2016) and Myanmar (2016-2018) and also held positions in Indian missions in Belgium, Pakistan, the US, Sri Lanka and Germany.

Born in Srinagar, Misri graduated in History from Hindu College, Delhi University and also did an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur. He took up his current role in the NSA in January 2022, where he reported to NSA Ajit Doval.

Meanwhile, sources point out that there is a possibility of India’s Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf filling in for Misri’s position as Deputy NSA.

The government is also learnt to be in the process of appointing India’s envoy to the US and New Delhi’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.

Kwatra is expected to be the next Ambassador to the US, people familiar with the matter said. The post has been lying vacant since Taranjit Sandhu retired in January.

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