WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Geeta Rao Gupta, an Indian-American, has taken on the role of Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US State Department. This significant appointment makes Gupta the first woman of color to hold this position. Her confirmation by the US Senate in May, with a vote of 51 to 47, solidified her position as a champion for gender equality and women’s empowerment on the international stage.

During her confirmation hearing, Gupta shed light on the numerous challenges that women face, including inequities and threats to their safety. She highlighted the daily fear of violence that restricts women’s mobility and hampers their full participation in the economy. Gupta also emphasized the vulnerability of women in conflict situations, emergencies, and humanitarian crises, both in terms of their safety and their ability to provide for and support their families.

Describing herself as a first-generation immigrant, Gupta shared her upbringing in a family of professional women who dedicated their lives to serving their communities. Supported wholeheartedly by the men in her family, Gupta drew inspiration from this environment and conducted doctoral research in India to understand the barriers women face in pursuing their careers. This research ignited Gupta’s passion and steered her towards a career focused on rectifying gender-based inequities and empowering women.

Gupta’s experience and expertise are vast. She previously served as the Executive Director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women and held senior positions at the United Nations Foundation, UNICEF, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Additionally, Gupta spent over a decade as the President of the International Center for Research on Women, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to using research to shape international development policies and programs that empower women and girls.

Throughout her career, Gupta has witnessed the resilience and resourcefulness of women worldwide. From women entrepreneurs in Kenya and India who sustain small businesses despite limited access to financial services, to the brave women in Liberia who mobilize against great odds to demand peace for their families and communities, Gupta recognizes the strength and determination of women in overcoming challenges.

Gupta’s ceremonial swearing-in by Indian American Vice President Kamala Harris was attended by various dignitaries, including the Second Gentleman, her husband Arvind Gupta, her daughter Nayna Gupta, her sister-in-law Manjuli Maheshwari, and a close family friend, Carolina Rojas. This moment marked the beginning of Gupta’s official role as the Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues, where she will continue to advocate for gender equality, women’s empowerment, and the advancement of women’s rights on the global stage.

Geeta Rao Gupta’s appointment reflects the United States’ commitment to promoting gender equality and addressing the unique challenges faced by women worldwide. Her wealth of experience and dedication make her a formidable advocate for change, and her leadership in this role will undoubtedly contribute to advancing the status and rights of women globally.