Tehmina Janjua on Monday assumed charge as the new foreign secretary of Pakistan, becoming the first woman in the history of the country to assume the position.
Janjua replaced Aizaz Chaudhry, a career diplomat who has taken up charge as Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States.
The Foreign Office issues the following statement after the announcement of her appointment: “She (Ms Janjua) is a seasoned diplomat with a career spanning over 32 years. She has rich experience of working in bilateral and multilateral domains — both at the headquarters and missions abroad. She also served as a director at the foreign secretary’s office, director general strategic planning, and briefly as a spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs during 2011.”
Janjua, the first woman appointed to the Foreign Office’s top post, was long considered a favourite for the position. Although Hina Rabbani Khar has served as the foreign minister (2011-13), no woman has ever held the post of foreign secretary in the country before Ms Janjua.
Having joined the Foreign Service in 1984, Janjua’s experience has mainly been in multilateral diplomacy. Her only remarkable bilateral posting had been as ambassador to Rome from December 2011 to October 2015. Among her other overseas postings are stints at the UN in New York and Geneva.
Janjua has not served on a major territorial desk at the headquarters, except for a year-long posting at the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe desk at the start of her Foreign Service career.