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India’s First Female UN Ambassador, Ruchira Kamboj, Retires after 35 years

Senior diplomat Ruchira Kamboj, who made history after becoming the first woman to become the Indian Ambassador to the United Nations, retired on 1 June, after an illustrious career spanning nearly four decades, she announced on Saturday.

About Ruchira Kamboj:

Ruchira Kamboj was born on May 3, 1964, and is a retired Indian Foreign Service officer from the 1987 batch. She most recently held the position of Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, where she worked from August 2022 to May 2024 before retiring. She has held the positions of Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO, Paris; High Commissioner of India to South Africa. She was the  First Female Indian Ambassador to Bhutan. She was the top-ranked woman in both the 1987 Foreign Service and Civil Services batches in India.

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In 1987, she excelled in the Civil Services Examination and began her diplomatic journey in Paris, France. She worked as Third Secretary in the Indian Embassy to France and Second Secretary before returning to Delhi. She worked as Under Secretary in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, handling India’s relationship with the Commonwealth of Nations. From 1996-1999, she served as First Secretary and Head of Chancery at the Indian High Commission in Mauritius. She later served as Deputy Secretary and Director in charge of   Foreign Service Personnel and Cadre in Delhi.

  • Ruchira Kamboj served as Counsellor at India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2002-2005, addressing political issues like UN Peacekeeping and UN Security Council reform. She was part of the G-4 team working on the UN Security Council reform. From 2006-2009, she was India’s Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa, coordinating visits of Indian and Congress Party leaders.
  • Ruchira Kamboj, India’s first and only lady in Government, held the position of Chief of Protocol from2011 to 2014. She directed outgoing visits of the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and External Affairs Minister, and dealt with incoming Heads of Government and State. Kamboj was involved in organizing international summits in India, including the 4th BRICS Summit in 2012, the 11th Council of Ministers Meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association in 2011, and the ASEAN India Commemorative Summit in 2012. She also directed the 11th Asia Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in 2013 and assisted in organizing the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit in 2015, showcasing the rich textile tradition of India’s spiritual capital, Benares.
  • In 2017, she was appointed as the High Commissioner of India to South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho, and formally assumed her duties on 24 August 2017. Kamboj was as India’s designate ambassador and permanent representative to the UN in New York on June 21, 2022. She was the first female Permanent Representative of India to the UN following her appointment. On August 1, 2022, she took over as PR-designate, and she remained there until May 31, 2024.


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