Nirupama Menon Rao (Malayalam: നിരുപമ മേനോന് റാവു; born December 6, 1950) is the current Foreign Secretary of India. She is a 1973 batch Indian Foreign Service officer.
In July 2009, she became the second woman (after Chokila Iyer) to hold the post of Indian Foreign Secretary, the head of Indian Foreign Service. In her career she has served in several capacities including, Minister of Press Affairs in Washington, Deputy Chief of Mission in Moscow, stints in the Ministry of External Affairs as Joint Secretary (East Asia), (External Publicity) making her the first woman spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry, Chief of Personnel, Ambassador to Peru and China, and High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
Nirupama Rao was born in Malappuram, Kerala, into the Meempat tharawad. Her father was in the Army. She did her schooling from various cities like Bangalore, Pune, Lucknow, Coonoor. She did her BA(English) Honors in Mount Carmel College, in Bangalore, in 1970, when it was affiliated with the University of Mysore. Later, she obtained her Masters degree in English Literature from what was then known as Marathwada University in Maharashtra. She topped the All India Civil Services Examination in 1973 and joined the Indian Foreign Service. Her sister, Dr.Nirmala Kannan is the Command Medical Officer (CMO) of the Cochin based Southern Naval Command.