Hardeep Singh Puri, who was on Sunday inducted as a Minister of State in the Narendra Modi government, is a former IFS officer who has had a four-decade career in diplomacy spanning the multilateral arena.
Puri, 65, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He was Ambassador to Brazil and Permanent Representative of India to the UN in both Geneva (2002-05) and New York (2009-13).
He is one of the few Indians to have presided over the UN Security Council and the only one to have chaired its Counter-Terrorism Committee.
In 1987, as a First Secretary in the Indian High Commission in Colombo, Puri went to Jaffna and met LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran and persuaded him to come to New Delhi to understand a peace pact India and Sri Lanka were set to sign to end ethnic strife.
Educated in Delhi University’s Hindu College, he was a student leader and active during the JP movement in the early 70s.
He briefly taught at St. Stephens College before joining the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1974.
Puri retired from the IFS in February 2013 and joined the International Peace Institute (IPI), New York, a non-profit think tank. He also was Vice President of the International Peace Institute, New York.
Puri is President and Chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), a New Delhi-based think-tank that specializes in policy research on international economic issues and development cooperation.
He has authored a book, “Perilous Interventions: The Security Council & The Politics of Chaos”, and has been a commentator on contemporary global issues and developments including strategic, peace and security, economic and trade.
Puri served as Secretary (Economic Relations), Joint Secretary (Europe West) and Joint Secretary (Americas) in the External Affairs Ministry. He has wide experience in international trade law and dispute resolution.