Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the Indian Ambassador to the United States, will be the next Foreign Secretary, the government said in a release on Monday. He will take charge after Vijay Keshav Gokhale's two-year term ends next month.
The appointment has been cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the order by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Ambassador in Washington DC as Foreign Secretary with effect from 29.01.2020 upon completion of two year of Shri Vijay Keshav Gokhale as Foreign Secretary on 28.01.2020," the government statement read.
An Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1984 batch, Mr Shringla has held several important positions in his diplomatic career spanning 35 years. He has served as India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh and Thailand, apart from serving in France, India's permanent mission to the United Nations in the US, Vietnam, Israel and South Africa.
Mr Gokhale, a 1981 batch officer, was appointed as the Foreign Secretary on January 29 last year. Before becoming the top official, he had served as Indian Ambassador to China from 20 January 2016 to 21 October 2017. Considered an expert in Chinese affairs, he had played a pivotal role in resolving the Doklam standoff between India and China.