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IAS officer Sujata Saunik Appointed as Maharashtra's First Female Chief Secretary

Senior IAS officer Sujata Saunik made history on June 30, 2024, by becoming Maharashtra's first female Chief Secretary, succeeding Nitin Kareer.

Saurabh Shukla
IAS officer Sujata Saunik Appointed as Maharashtra's First Female Chief Secretary (Photo Source: @airnewsalerts/X)
IAS officer Sujata Saunik Appointed as Maharashtra's First Female Chief Secretary (Photo Source: @airnewsalerts/X)

Senior IAS officer Sujata Saunik assumed the role of Chief Secretary on June 30, 2024, marking the first time a woman has held this prestigious position in state's 64-year history. Saunik, an IAS officer from the 1987 batch, takes over from Nitin Kareer, who retired on the same day.

Saunik officially took charge from Kareer in a ceremony at Mantralaya, the state secretariat located in south Mumbai. She is expected to serve a one-year term before her retirement in June 2025. Kareer, who concluded his tenure as chief secretary, ceremoniously handed over the responsibilities to Saunik at the event held in Mantralaya’s sixth-floor office.

Before her appointment as Chief Secretary, Saunik held the position of Additional Chief Secretary in the state's Home Department. Her extensive career also includes a notable turn as the Principal Secretary of Financial Reform. In this role, she played a crucial part in shaping key strategic interests of the state, monitoring expenditures across various departments such as Agriculture, Irrigation, Industry, Energy, and Finance, and ensuring their efficient financial management.

Sujata Saunik brings with her over three decades of rich experience in public policy and governance. Her expertise spans multiple sectors including healthcare, finance, education, disaster management, and peacekeeping. She has served at various levels of government—district, state, and federal—and has also worked with international organizations like the United Nations, showcasing a broad and diverse portfolio of accomplishments.

Adding to her distinguished career, Sujata Saunik’s husband, Manoj Saunik, is also a former state chief secretary, highlighting a family deeply involved in public administration. Her appointment is not only a personal achievement but also a significant step forward for gender equality in the state’s administrative framework.

Saunik’s leadership is anticipated to bring a fresh perspective and continued excellence in governance to Maharashtra as she embarks on this historic role.

Her wealth of experience and strategic acumen will be instrumental in navigating the state through the complexities of public administration and policy implementation.

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