Minnie Mathew, an Indian Administrative Service officer of the 1976 batch, has been appointed the new Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh.
Ms Minnie becomes the second woman bureaucrat to become the state Chief Secretary after Sathi Nair, who held the post in 2002 during the Chandrababu Naidu Government.
Both women hailed from Kerala.
Before elevated to the top bureaucratic office, Minnie was Chief Commissioner of Land Administration, a post that ranks next to the Chief Secretary in the state IAS hierarchy.
She will retire on February 28, 2013.
Ms Minnie succeeds Pankaj Dwivedi of 1975 batch, who retired from service on attaining the age of superannuation today.
Though there was speculation that Mr Dwivedi would be given a three-month extension of service, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy chose to go for a fresh face keeping with the tradition being followed over the past few years.
Like some of his predecessors, Mr Dwivedi too may be "rehabilitated" in some other official post in the near future, Government sources said.