Vijay Keshav Gokhale was on Monday named the next foreign secretary succeeding S Jaishankar, who completes his extended tenure later this month. He will take over on January 29 for a two-year term. The 1981-batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service had played a key role in India-China negotiations last year to resolve the border standoff at Doklam.
Gokhale, 58, who is currently Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, was India’s Ambassador to China from January 20, 2016 to October 21, 2017.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Gokhale’s appointment to the post of foreign secretary, said the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
He was High Commissioner of India to Malaysia from January 2010 to October 2013, and also served as India’s top envoy to Germany between October 2013 and January 2016. He has worked in Indian missions in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and in New York. He has held the posts of director (China and East Asia) and then joint secretary (East Asia) in the MEA. Gokhale, who knows Mandarin, holds a Master’s degree in History from Delhi University.
Jaishankar was appointed foreign secretary for two years in January 2015, just a few days before his retirement, replacing Sujata Singh. A 1977-batch IFS officer, Jaishankar was given a one-year extension in January last year.