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Geeta Rao Gupta is first woman of color to take oath as State Dept’s Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

New York, July 11 (IANS) Indian-American Geeta Rao Gupta has been sworn-in as the Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of Global Women’s Issues in the US State Department, becoming the first woman of colour to hold the position.

Gupta, who was administered the oath of office by Vice-President Kamala Harris on Monday, was confirmed by 51 to 47 votes in the Senate for the position in May.

While announcing her appointment in May, the State Department had said it “looks forward to her efforts to promote women and girls’ rights through US foreign policy”.

During her confirmation hearing last year before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Gupta had said she was a proud US citizen and a first-generation immigrant, belonging to a family of professional women, each of whom dedicated their lives to serving their communities.

“If you look at the world today, the situation of women, if  you look at the gender inequality indicators, they show that the inequality has increased,” she had said.

According to Gupta, women are unable to participate fully in the economy as there are many inequalities and indignities holding them back.

Mumbai-born Gupta previously served as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and Senior Advisor to Co-impact, a global collaborative philanthropy for systems change.

While at the UN Foundation, Gupta founded and served as the Executive Director and later as Senior Advisor of the 3D Program for Girls and Women.

With over decades of experience on gender and development, Gupta has also served on an oversight committee for the World Health Organisation’s Health Emergencies Programme, and co-chaired the World Banks’s Global Gender-based Violence Task Force.

She was the Deputy Executive Director, Programmes at UNICEF, and prior to that as a Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including InterAction’s Julia Taft Award for Outstanding Leadership, Harvard University’s Anne Roe Award and Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” Award.

She is armed with a Ph.D in Psychology from Bangalore University and an M.Phil and M.A. from the University of Delhi.

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