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Meera Shankar


About Meera Shankar

Meera Shankar is an Indian Diplomat and has served as India's Ambassador to the United States of America from 2009 to 2011. She was India's second female ambassador to the United States of America, Vijaya Lakshmi Nehru Pandit being the first. She was succeeded by Nirupama Rao on August 1,2011.

Professional Biography

Meera Shankar is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1973 batch. She was posted in Washington from 1991 to 1995. Shankar was the first serving diplomat to be posted in Washington in more than two decades after K. Shankar Bajpai. After Vijayalaxmi Pandit, who served as envoy between 1949 and 1951, she is India's second lady ambassador to the US.

As Ambassador to the United States

Meera Shankar is appointed Ambassador of India to USA on March 13, 2009. On May 22, 2009, Shankar said India would like to move forward in a concrete way with agreements for building nuclear reactors with US assistance in the country and seeks speedy negotiations of reprocessing arrangements as well as liberalization of the export licensing procedures. In July 09, the US-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) has congratulated the members of the Senate Caucus on India for hosting a very successful reception to honor Meera Shankar.

In September 09, she said it is for the US to look into the issue and respond to former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf's recent disclosure regarding misuse of American military aid.

She said India will pursue reform of the governance structure of international financial institutions and changes in the international financial architecture so that they reflect the contemporary world.

In October 09, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor expressed appreciation to Meera Shankar for informing the Indian Government about reports of corruption. The Indian Government, on October 13, 2009, said that a probe has been ordered into corruption charges against the bureaucrats after Meera Shankar, said in a letter that they were bribed by US firms.

Indian Defence Minister A K Antony said that the Indian Navy will conduct a probe into allegations made against its officers by Meera Shankar in her letter to the Prime Ministers Principal Secretary, T.K.A.Nair.

In June 2010, she said that the Indian Government requested the US Government for access to question US national, David Coleman Headley, who has been charged for his role in the planning of the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 26, 2008.

At the end of July 2010, Shakar and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns signed the nuclear reprocessing pact at a US State Department ceremony.

In August 2010, she lodged an official protest with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and the US Congress about the bill that was signed by President Barack Obama on August 4, 2010.

Milestones

  • 1973 – Meera Shankar joins Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  • 1985 to 1991 – Meera Shankar serves as the Director in the Prime Minister's office
  • 1991 to 1995 – Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • 2003 – Achieves the rank of Additional Secretary. Holds responsibility for the United Nations and International Security
  • Prior to 2009 – Ministry of External Affairs. India's Ambassador in Berlin, Germany
  • 2009 to 2011 - India's Ambassador to the United States of America

Personal Biography

Meera Shankar is born on October 9, 1950. She studied at the St. Mary's Convent in Nainital.

She is married to Ajay Shankar, IAS officer of the 1973 batch, who retired as secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. The couple has a daughter Priya.

Meera Shankar in News

Ranjan Mathai to assume charge as Foreign Secretary tomorrow
Ranjan Mathai, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of the 1974 batch, will assume charge as the next Foreign Secretary of India on Monday.

Clinton condemns 13/7 attacks, pledges support, protection to India from future attacks
Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said that the United States condemned the recent terror-related attack in Mumbai, which claimed 19 lives and left over 130 injured, in the strongest possible terms.

Second US-India Strategic Dialogue begins in Delhi
The second strategic dialogue between the United States and India has begun at Hyderabad House here this morning.

Clinton meets Shiv Shankar Menon
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is on a three-day official visit to India, met National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon here today.

Clinton, Krishna to hold US-India strategic dialogue
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will lead their respective delegations in the Second US-India Strategic Dialogue to be held here on Tuesday.

Ranjan Mathai to be India's next Foreign Secretary
Mr.Ranjan Mathai, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of the 1974 batch, will be the next Foreign Secretary of India, with a term of two years.

Pranab Mukherjee to leave on three-day visit to US on Monday
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will be leaving on a three-day visit to the United States on Monday.

Nikki Haley, First Indian-American Governor of South Carolina, is India Abroad Person of the Year 2010
Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Randhawa Haley, South Carolina’s first Indian-American and first woman Governor and the country’s youngest, was named the India Abroad Person of the Year 2010 at a ceremony in New York City June 24. The event saw about 400 of the biggest names in the Indian-American community come together at a venue that celebrates the Indian-American journey – The Pierre, a Taj Hotel

Chidambaram compliments Roemer for promoting Indo-US counter-terrorism cooperation
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday thanked Ambassador Timothy J Roemer for his efforts to promote India-US relationship and counter-terrorism cooperation, in particular, over the course of the past two years.

Indian firms responsible for creating jobs in US
A new study by the Confederation of Indian Industry, "Indian Roots, American Soil: A Look at Indian Companies in the U.S. Economy" released yesterday evening in Washington, D.C., reported that India-based companies were responsible for saving thousands of jobs in the U.S. in recent years and have continued to hire locally wherever they have put down roots.

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