Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao has been the Deputy Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) since July 2015.
He has represented India at numerous UN meetings and conferences and brings with him vast and rich multilateral work experience across the UN System in Vienna, Geneva and New York. He specialises in disarmament issues and has dealt with them during different stages of his diplomatic career spanning over three decades.
Before joining the OPCW, he was Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from September 2011 to April 2015, and Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva from December 2007 to September 2011.
Ambassador Rao joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1981. His other assignments abroad were as Third/Second Secretary of the Embassy of India in Vienna (1983-1986); and Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva (1995-98), and in the High Commission of India in Dhaka (1998-2001). He was Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of India in Vienna (2001-2004), during which period he was Alternate to the Indian Governor on the IAEA Board of Governors.
He worked in the Ministry of External Affairs as Under Secretary dealing with SAARC (1986-1990); as Deputy Secretary (UN) dealing with disarmament issues (1990-1991); and as Officer on Special Duty for Press Relations in the External Publicity Division (1992-1993). He was Private Secretary to the External Affairs Minister (1993-1995), and Joint Secretary (Director General) at the Ministry of External Affairs from August 2004 to December 2007. During this period he supervised work relating to the UN and other international organisations (2004-2005), and disarmament and international security affairs (2005-07).
Ambassador Rao holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Law. He is fluent in English and Hindi and has working knowledge of German. He is married and has two daughters.