A 1990 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre, Rao is Additional Secretary, Government of India. His last assignment was as Principal Secretary, Public Works Department, Govt. of Kerala. Rao also served as the Secretary of Kerala Tourism in the year 2014-15. In a span of close to three decades, Rao has served multiple positions. He brings with him rich experience, having held key posts as MD of SC /ST Corporation in Andhra Pradesh and in the Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India.