Sunday, July 14, 2024

Sewa Lamsal- The First Female Foreign Secretary

In the 72-year history of the Foreign Ministry, Sewa Lamsal has become the first female foreign secretary. Lamsal was elevated to the position of secretary during a Cabinet meeting on December 14. She has created history by making this choice. She has become the first female foreign secretary in the seven decades that the Nepali foreign service has existed.

Previous Occurrences

Lamsal was recommended for the position on December 8. This was during a meeting presided over by Public Service Commission Chairman Madhav Prasad Regmi. After Bharat Raj Paudel retired on December 5, Lamsal had already taken over as secretary.

From the first, Sardar Narendra Mani Acharya, to the last, Paudel, all 24 prior foreign secretaries were men.

About Sewa Lamsal

Sewa Lamsal was born in the isolated hilly region of Dingla in the Bhojpur district of Nepal. She has three daughters and a grandson. She began her career in the foreign service in 2010 as an undersecretary. From 2016 to 2020, she held positions as ambassador to Pakistan, deputy permanent representative, and minister plenipotentiary at Nepal’s Permanent Mission to the UN. In less than a year after her lateral entry from administrative service to foreign service, she was promoted to the position of joint secretary. Since then, she has held a variety of positions as a joint secretary at the foreign ministry for nearly 13 years.

Lamsal will now oversee the administration of the foreign ministry, which employs about 360 officials, diplomats, and employees. In the 72-year history of the ministry, there has never been a female foreign secretary. This was despite the appointment of Sahana Pradhan of the CPN-UML, Sujata Koirala of the Nepali Congress, and Bimala Rai Paudyal of the UML as foreign ministers. In October 1998, she began her career in the civil service as a section officer in the Ministry of Senior Citizens, Women, and Children.

Lamsal completed her M.Phil. in social change at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Tribhuvan University. 

From 2016 to 2020, she also held the position of ambassador for Nepal to Pakistan. While assigned to Pakistan, she further served as a non-residential envoy for Iran, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. According to one of her colleagues at the foreign ministry, since Lamsal began regularly engaging with leading foreign politicians and diplomats three years ago, her confidence has significantly risen.

The First Female Foreign Secretary
Sewa Lamsal at a press interview

Challenges Ahead

She is taking over the foreign ministry at a time when the nation is juggling a number of external issues. These issues stem from geopolitical concerns, domestic pressures, intricate relationships with China, India, and other key nations, as well as labor and climate diplomacy. These difficulties are accompanied by a changing geopolitical environment and the requirement to increase the foreign ministry’s effectiveness.

Bottom Line

For Nepali women, the appointment of Sewa Lamsal as the first female foreign secretary is a great source of inspiration and a model example of inclusive democracy. Once the administration decided to elevate her to the position of foreign secretary, there were a lot of congrats on social media.

Luzon Technologies

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