The Indian woman officer whose voice resonated in the UN, retired after 35 years of service

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi: Ruchira Kamboj, India's first woman permanent representative to the United Nations, retired. Ruchira became India's Permanent Representative/Ambassador to New York on 2 August 2022. She retired after 35 years of service. During this time she served as Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, South Africa and UNESCO. Kamboj is a 1987 batch IFS officer. She wrote on social media on Saturday, 'Thank you India for extraordinary years and unforgettable experiences. Kamboj led India in discussions at the United Nations in New York during the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars in the last two years.

India's first woman Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Ruchira Kamboj ranked first among women all over India in the 1987 Civil Services Examination and also ranked first in the Foreign Services Examination the same year. On 2 August 2022, she became India's Permanent Representative/Ambassador in New York. Kamboj is fluent in three languages ​​- Hindi, English and French. She began her diplomatic career as Third Secretary at the Indian Embassy in France from 1989 to 1991. From 2002 to 2005 she was Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York, where she handled a number of political issues such as UN peacekeeping missions, UN Security Council reforms, Middle East crises, etc, according to the Indian mission's website.

Known for his impressive speeches
Ruchira Kamboj's illustrious career did not end here. She has also served as Deputy Chief of the Secretary-General's Office at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. From 2011 to 2014, she was India's Chief of Protocol, the first and only woman in any government to hold this position. During her three-year tenure at UNESCO in Paris, she achieved many milestones. Kamboj has served as Under Secretary in the Europe West Division in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, First Secretary in the Indian High Commission in Mauritius, and Deputy Secretary and Director in the Indian Foreign Service Personnel and Cadre Department. She has also served as India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and is known for her fiery speeches and for putting India's point across strongly.

High Commissioner from Bhutan to South Africa
In May 2014, the Ministry of External Affairs called her to Delhi on special assignment for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In February 2019, she went to Bhutan as the Indian Ambassador and took several important initiatives during her tenure. She was also India's High Commissioner to South Africa from July 2017 to early 2019, with status to the Kingdom of Lesotho as well.

Talking about her personal life, she is married to Diwakar Kamboj and has a daughter. Her late father was an officer in the Indian Army and her mother was a professor of Sanskrit at Delhi University. Ruchira Kamboj has recently retired after an illustrious career spanning four decades. Her contributions and services to the Indian Foreign Service have been highly appreciated.

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