Dr Neeru Chadha, who was the first woman Chief Adviser to the Ministry of External Affairs, will be the first Indian woman member of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), if elected.
Neeru, who did her graduation from the University of Michigan and the University of Delhi, joined the Legal and Treaties Division of the Ministry of External Affairs in 1992. It is the division that advises the Indian government on international legal matters.
After two decades of working with them, on June 1, 2012, she was appointed the head of the division, in the process becoming the first woman legal adviser on international law not just in India but the whole of South Asia, according to India Law News.
She also served as legal adviser to the Indian mission to the UN from 2006 to 2009. Neeru is also an acknowledged expert in international arbitration, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and maritime law, according to The Times of India.
Neeru is also known for advocating for equal rights for women through her writings. Even her doctoral thesis was one that argued for equal opportunity for men and women to build a level playing field. In the thesis, she had argued for the removal of legal and cultural barriers, which she believes will lead to more women coming out in the public space.
If she wins the election taking place on June 14, she will be the second Indian woman after Vijayalakshmi Pandit in a high-ranking UN position. Here's wishing her luck and hoping she works for a level playing field.