Tehmina Janjua, currently serving as Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, has been appointed the new foreign secretary by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Monday.

Janjua, the first woman appointed to the Foreign Office's top post, was long considered a favourite for the position.

Having joined the Foreign Service in 1984, her experience has mainly been in multilateral diplomacy. Her only remarkable bilateral posting has been as ambassador to Rome from December 2011 to October 2015. Among her other overseas postings are stints at the UN in New York and Geneva.

Janjua has not served on a major territorial desk at the headquarters, except for a year-long posting at the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe desk at the start of her Foreign Service career.

At the headquarters, she worked as a director at the foreign secretary’s office, director general strategic planning, and briefly as spokesperson in 2011.

Janjua will resume her new duties from the first week of March 2017.

Janjua replaces Aizaz Chaudhry as foreign secretary, who was appointed in 2013 as the successor to Jalil Abbas Jillani.

Chaudhry is a career diplomat who joined the Foreign Service in 1980.

Prior to his elevation as foreign secretary, Chaudhry was serving as additional secretary of the UN division with the additional responsibility of foreign ministry’s spokesman. He earlier held diplomatic positions in Cairo, Doha, Tehran, Washington and New York.

Chaudhry was also involved in the peace process with India as director general of the South Asia desk at the FO.