|Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations|
April 1 2008
|Preceded by||Don McKinnon|
30 September 1941 |
Kamalesh Sharma is an alumnus of the Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi, St. Stephen's College in Delhi and King's College, Cambridge. Sharma was an officer in the Indian Foreign Service from 1965 to 2001. He served as India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations before his retirement from IFS. From 2002 to 2004, he served as U.N. Secretary General's special representative to East Timor. He was appointed as the High Commissioner of India to Britain in 2004. He is a Vice-President of the Royal Commonwealth Society. He is also the Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast (from July 2009)
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
Sharma was elected to the position of secretary-general over Michael Frendo, foreign minister of Malta, during the biennial Commonwealth summit in Kampala, Uganda held from 22 November to 24 November 2007. He took over from Sir Don McKinnon of New Zealand on 1 April 2008.
Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast
On 9 July 2009 Sharma was appointed Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast after the retirement of Senator George J. Mitchell. Queen's says he was responsible for cementing relations between Northern Ireland and India which led to the country's investment in Northern Ireland businesses. The position is a largely honorary title and Sharma said he was enormously proud to be given the job at Queen's.