Syed Akbaruddin, UN Representative (Retired)

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations (January 2016 – 30 April 2020 – Retired)

Syed Akbaruddin is a 1985 batch Indian Foreign Service officer served as India’s permanent representative at the United Nations at New York since January 2016 to April 2020. He has previously served as official spokesperson of India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2015 and Indian representative at IAEA from 2006 to 2011.

Akbaruddin is a 1985 batch Indian Foreign Service officer. In his distinguished career spanning over 34 years, Akbaruddin has served in different capacities in India and abroad, starting his first foreign assignment in Cairo where he also learned Arabic. He also served twice in Saudi Arabia; in Riyadh from 1988 to 1992 and in Jeddah from 2000 to 2004 as consul-general of India and he is rightly considered an expert on the West Asia issues in India. At the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, he was on deputation for four years and returned to India in 2011. He was the director at the Foreign Secretary’s Office of the Ministry from 2004 to 2005.

Akbaruddin was the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India from January 2012 to April 2015. He headed the External Publicity and Public Diplomacy division of the Ministry of External Affairs in the capacity of Joint Secretary to Government of India. He was also the chief coordinator for the India-Africa Summit in October 2015. He was later Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (India) from April 2015 to September 2015. In November 2015, Akbaruddin was appointed as India’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.

Akbaruddin presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on January 25, 2016. He has been praised inside his country and abroad for his exceptional skills at multilateral forums, protecting India’s interest and setting new standards of multilateral diplomacy. His work at the United Nations against terrorism, climate change and towards international peace has been unparalleled to any of his predecessors.

Personal Life:

Syed Akbaruddin was born in Hyderabad on 27 April 1960 to Professor Syed Bashiruddin, formerly the head of the department of Journalism and Communication at Osmania University, who headed the department for many years and served as Indian ambassador to Qatar, vice chancellor of Dr B R Ambedkar Open University and director of the research wing of the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, and Prof. (Dr.) Zeba Bashiruddin, who was a Professor in the English department at Sri Sathya Sai University, Prasanthi Nilayam campus. She had also authored 2 books on Sathya Sai Baba. He holds a Master’s Degree in Politics and International Relations.

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