The Leaderboard: Sujatha Singh

The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific.Who is she?

Sujatha Singh is the current Indian Ambassador to Germany and a career diplomat of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). After joining the IFS in 1976, Singh served with Indian diplomatic missions in Accra, Paris, Milan and Bangkok, among others. In 2007, Singh was appointed the Indian High Commissioner to Australia, a position she fulfilled until her move to Germany in 2012.

Source: Indian Embassy to Germany website, fair use.

Ambassador Sujatha Singh. Source: Indian Embassy to Germany website under fair use guidelines.

Why is she in the news?

On July 2, 2013, Singh was nominated for the post of Foreign Secretary of India by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. She is only the third woman to hold the highest office of the IFS, after Chokila Iyer (2001-2002) and Nirupama Rao (2009-2011). Singh commences her two-year tenure on August 1.

What can we expect from her?

As the former Indian Ambassador to two countries, Singh has garnered a reputation for championing the cause of Indians abroad. In 2010, Singh was credited for her swift response to the racial targeting of Indian students in Australia, as well as her tough stance on issues of aid conditions from EU countries during her stint in the region.

While there have been some concerns over Singh’s relative lack of experience in dealing with India’s neighbors, her seniority and adept handling of other ambassadorial tasks rendered her the top choice for the highest position of the IFS.

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