Raghavendra Rao is a member of the Indian Administration Service (IAS), 1985 batch, from Haryana State Cadre. He holds a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from JNTU, Hyderabad. He then studied for an M.Tech in Industrial Engineering and Management at IIT, Kanpur.
Shri Rao subsequently received an MBA in Public Services Management from the University of Birmingham. He also completed an advanced course in public administration at Syracuse University and attended a course for senior managers in government at the Kennedy School, Harvard University.
Shri Rao held various important assignments in the State Government of Haryana as Additional Chief Secretary of Town and Country Planning, Housing, Women and Child Development, Urban Development, Rural Development, Environment and Finance. He also worked as Executive Director (Finance) at the Food Corporation of India. Since March 2018, Shri Rao has been working as the Secretary in the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India.