Rao, who retired earlier this month after a 40-year diplomatic career, begins her appointment in January 2014, Providence, Rhode Island based Brown University announced on Monday.

While at Brown Rao will be writing a book focusing on how the advent of new media technologies are changing the way countries respond to policy-related situations. "I look forward to my year at Brown University with great anticipation. The India Initiative at Brown's Watson Institute has provided a needed and valued focus on the study of contemporary India. I am thrilled to contribute to scholarship on India's global outlook and its foreign policy priorities and challenges." Rao said.

“Ambassador Rao's accomplishments are immense and well known. Her intellectual approach to diplomacy has always distinguished her," said Ashutosh Varshney, director of the Initiative.

Rao, who was India's ambassador to the US from September 2011 to November 2013, previously served as foreign secretary. The first woman spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Rao also served as India's first female ambassador to China from 2006 to 2009.

The Brown-India Initiative is an interdisciplinary hub for the study of contemporary India, the university said. Its goals are twofold: to produce first-rate academic research, and to contribute to public discourse on and in India through talks, events, and the convergence of figures from across the lines of academia, civil society, literature, public policy, and journalism.


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