Harsh Vardhan Shringla took over as India’s 33rd foreign secretary on Wednesday following the retirement of Vijay Gokhale.
“I am as committed to the (external affairs) ministry's role in nation-building as I was 36 years ago when I entered these portals as a young professional. I look forward to work under the guidance of the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and the External Affairs Minister (Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar),” Shringla said soon after assuming charge.
A career diplomat, Shringla has held a variety of positions both in New Delhi and abroad. Apart from serving as India’s Ambassador to the United States and Thailand and as the High Commissioner to Bangladesh, he has also served as the country’s representative at Paris-based UNESCO and in various capacities at the United Nations, in Vietnam, Israel and South Africa.
In New Delhi, Shringla headed three divisions of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), including those dealing with India’s neighbourhood, the UN and SAARC.
A graduate of St. Stephen's College, at Delhi University, Shringla worked in the private and public sector before joining the Indian Foreign Service. He has published papers on conflict prevention, economic diplomacy, the Indian Diaspora and on relations between India and Bangladesh.
Shringla is fluent in French, Vietnamese and Nepalese apart from English and various Indian languages.