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After an illustrious career spanning over 35 years, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, has retired, the senior diplomat said on Saturday. The first woman diplomat to occupy the prestigious position as the Ambassador of India at the UN, Ms Kamboj – who had joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1987 – took to social media to bid goodbye.

“Thank you, Bharat, for the extraordinary years and unforgettable experiences,” the 60-year-old senior diplomat signed off with this message on her X handle.

Ms Kamboj, who was the All India women’s topper of the 1987 Civil Services batch and the topper of the 1987 Foreign Service batch, formally assumed the position of Permanent Representative/ Ambassador of India to New York, on August 2, 2022.

A regular on social media X highlighting India’s achievements at the UN, Ms Kamboj’s post announcing her retirement was met with overwhelming response by people from all walks of life – former ambassadors to common citizens.

A typical example was from a social media user Rohit Bansal, who said, “37 years of service, Sheer grace & steel – Your impact shall endure.” Speaking three languages, Hindi, English and French, Ms Kamboj began her diplomatic journey in Paris as the Third Secretary in the Indian Embassy to France from 1989 to 1991.

After postings at various locations, Ms Kamboj first came here as Counsellor at India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2002-2005, where she dealt with a wide range of political issues, including UN Peacekeeping, UN Security Council Reform, the Middle East crisis etc, according to the Indian Mission’s website.

She also had a stint as the Deputy Head of the Office of the Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Secretariat London and from 2011-2014, she was India’s Chief of Protocol, the first and only lady so far in Government to have held this position.

During her stellar three-year stint at UNESCO, Paris, with many firsts to her credit, in May 2014, the Ministry of External Affairs called her on special assignment to New Delhi to direct the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was marked by the presence of Heads of State and Government from the SAARC countries and Mauritius.

Married to businessman Diwakar Kamboj, they have one daughter.