At present Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board under the National Security Council and Senior Fellow with the Centre for Policy Research, Ambassador Shyam Saran is well known for his writings and thoughts on politics and foreign policy issues. A post graduate in Economics, the career diplomat is multilingual, speaking Hindi, English, Chinese and French.
Saran’s career in the Indian Foreign Services, spanning 36 years from 1970 to his retirement in 2006 took him to Beijing, Tokyo and Geneva. He served as India’s Ambassador to Indonesia and Nepal, and High Commissioner to Mauritius. From 2004 to 2006, he served as India’s Foreign Secretary. Prior to that, as a Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office in 1991/92, he advised the Prime Minister on foreign policy, nuclear and defence related issues. In 2011, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
Saran has served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Indo-US civil nuclear issues, helping to negotiate the Civil Nuclear Agreement, and later as Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change (from 2008 to 2010). Not one to live out a quiet retirement, Saran is co-Chair on the Indian side on the India-ASEAN Eminent Persons’ Group. He is also serving as an Independent Director on the Boards of Wipro, ONGC (Videsh) and Indian Oil respectively. He is a member, Board of Trustees of World Wildlife Fund (India) and has recently been appointed the Chancellor of the Garhwal Central University.