Husband: Diwakar Kamboj
Age: 59 Years
Some Lesser Known Facts Ruchira Kamboj
- Ruchira Kamboj is an Indian diplomat of IFS cadre who became the first female envoy to take charge as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations on 21 June 2022. A senior diplomat, she has served as the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, High Commissioner of India to South Africa, Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO, and Chief of Protocol.
- Growing up as the daughter of an army officer, Ruchira Kamboj attended school in different cities in Delhi, Baroda, and Jammu.
- Throughout her childhood, she paid heed to her father’s adamant insistence on punctuality and dressing smartly.
- After completing her formal education, she appeared in Civil Services Examination in 1987 and became All India women’s topper of the batch. She was also the topper of the 1987 IFS batch.
- From 1989 to 1991, she was posted as Third Secretary at the Embassy of India, Paris, during which she learned French.
- In 1991, she returned to Delhi and served as Under Secretary in the Europe West Division of India’s Ministry of External Affairs till 1996, dealing with France, the UK, the BENELUX countries, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. During this time, she also handled India’s relationship with the Commonwealth of Nations and represented India at the 14th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, held in October 1995 in Auckland, New Zealand.
- From 1996 to 1999, she served as First Secretary (Economic and Commercial) and Head of Chancery at the Indian High Commission in Port Louis, Mauritius. In 1997, she assisted Prime Minister IK Gujral in his visit to South Africa, where she was sent on special duty. In 1998, she closely supervised the State Visit of Prime Minister Deve Gowda to Mauritius.
- After returning to Delhi, she initially assumed the position of Deputy Secretary and later became Director in charge of Foreign Service Personnel and Cadre in the Ministry of External Affairs (June 1999-March 2002).
- From 2002 to 2005, she served as a Counsellor at India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. In this capacity, she dealt with various political issues including UN Peacekeeping, UN Security Council reform, the Middle East crisis, etc.
- In 2006, she was deputed as India’s Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa, a position that she served till 2009. During her tenure as the Consul General, she worked in close liaison with the Parliament of South Africa.
- Later, she was appointed as the Deputy Head of the Office of the Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Secretariat London.
- From 2011 to 2014, she served as India’s Chief of Protocol; she is the first woman to assume this position. Deccan Herald As Chief of Protocol, she supervised visits of the President of India, the Vice President of India, the Prime Minister of India, and the External Affairs Minister of India. In this capacity, she closely worked with all High Commissioners/Ambassadors to India on day-to-day administration issues. Furthermore, she organised numerous international Summits in India including the 2012 BRICS Summit in New Dehli, the 2012 ASEAN – India Commemorative Summit in New Dehli, and the 11th Asia Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Gurgaon.
- From April 2014 to July 2017, she served as India’s Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris; she is the first woman to assume the position. Deccan Herald
- In 2014, she headed the Indian delegation that inscribed Gujarat’s historical landmark ‘Rani ki Vav’ on the World Heritage List.
- Her three-year stint at UNESCO led to the addition of ‘Rani ki Vav’ to the World Heritage List in 2014, the addition of Varanasi and Jaipur to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in 2015, and the inscription of Ahmedabad as India’s first World Heritage City in 2017.
- At UNESCO’s 2016 World Heritage Committee in Istanbul, she led the Indian delegation on the intense and long process that went behind the recording of three Indian sites — Nalanda University ruins in Bihar, Khangchendzonga Park in Sikkim, and the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in the World Heritage List.
- She won global recognition for Yoga in December 2016 when it was marked on UNESCO’s representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- Ruchira Kamboj organized an International Conference on the Zero at UNESCO in April 2016 to showcase India’s contribution to Mathematics and Science. At the Conference, a bronze sculpture of Aryabhatta, a prominent ancient Indian mathematician and astronomer, was unveiled at the UNESCO headquarters by HRD Minister Smriti Irani. The sculpture was a gift to UNESCO and was later placed at the principal entrance of the Organisation.
- On a special assignment, she came back from Paris to India to organize the swearing-in ceremony of PM Narendra Modi, which was held on 26 May 2014.
- In the following year, she was again called back on special assignment to assist in the organisation of the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi. Simultaneously, she also directed a special programme ‘Weaves of Benares,’ which aimed to showcase the rich textile tradition to distinguished visitors.
- On 24 August 2017, she assumed charge of the High Commissioner of India to South Africa, with concurrent accreditation to the Kingdom of Lesotho from July 2017 to March 2019.
- In May 2019, she became the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan and served in this capacity till July 2022.
- On 21 June 2022, she was appointed as the Ambassador/Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York, becoming the first female representative of the position. Hindustan Times She assumed the charge on 1 August 2022.