Senior diplomat Ruchi Ghanashyam was on Tuesday appointed as the Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
She has been appointed in place of Sujata Mehta, who has recently taken over as a Member in Union Public Service Commission.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved Ghanashyam's appointment to the post, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry said.
As the Secretary (West), Ghanashyam will be responsible for looking after the country's diplomatic affairs with the UK and other European nations.
She is at present the High Commissioner of India to South Africa.
Before that, she worked as the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs here heading the Europe West Division.
Born on April 4, 1960 she joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1982 after obtaining a Masters in Psychology from the Bhopal University.
Her husband, A R Ghanashyam, is also an Indian Foreign Service officer of the same batch.
She has earlier served as the High Commissioner of India in Ghana with concurrent accreditation to Burkina Faso, Togo and Sierra Leone, from March, 2008 to October, 2011.
Earlier she served as the Minister in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York from May, 2004 to March 2008.
Ruchi Ghanashyam served as the Director for Pakistan at headquarters in Delhi from August, 2000 to March, 2004 having earlier served as the Counsellor (Political, Press & Info) in Islamabad.
She has also served in the Embassy of India in Brussels, Belgium, Kathmandu, Nepal and Damascus, Syria where she learnt Arabic, and as Under Secretary in New Delhi looking after audio-visual publicity for the Ministry of External Affairs.