Ms. Meera Shankar has had a distinguished career in the Indian Foreign Service which she joined in 1973. Ms. Shankar was India’s first woman Ambassador to Germany from 2005 to 2009. From 2009 to 2011, she served as India’s second woman Ambassador to the USA; the first one being Vijay Laxmi Pandit. As Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Ms. Shankar headed the Division dealing with International Organisations and Security issues. She has long experience of dealing with India’s neighbours, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and SAARC in the Ministry of External Affairs and of economic diplomacy as Minister (Commerce) in the Indian Embassy in Washington in the nineties in the early days of Economic Reforms . As Director, Ms. Shankar worked in the Prime Minister’s office for six years under four Prime Ministers. She has also headed the Indian Council of Cultural Relations as its Director General. Ms. Meera Shankar now serves on the Boards of several Companies as an Independent Director and on the Governing Body of a not for profit think tank.