The talk will draw attention to issues that are new; have no established global frameworks for states to work with; and are posing challenges that States haven’t confronted before. They are different from the usual threats states are used to addressing and will require more cooperation at a time when the dominant spirit is of inter-state competition.


Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin has been for a long time, Indian diplomacy’s most visible face. He is now the Dean of the Kautilya School of Public Policy, following a distinguished diplomatic career spanning more than three decades.

Entering the Indian Foreign Service in 1985, he retired in April 2020, upon completion of his tenure as the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations. An experienced multilateral diplomat, Ambassador Akbaruddin He is among the few Indian diplomats who has the distinction of also serving as an international civil-servant in a United Nations entity. He was the Head of the External Relations and Policy Coordination Unit and later also the Special Assistant to the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 2006-11.

Ambassador Akbaruddin was a familiar public presence, during 2012-15, articulating India’s foreign policy stances on a number of international issues as the Official Spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs. He was also instrumental in the use of social media tools to considerably expand India’s public diplomacy outreach.

Proficient in Arabic, he has previously also served in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in various diplomatic capacities. Since his retirement he has written and spoken extensively on global public policy issues. His book “India Vs UK” has just been released by Harper Collins and is being widely appreciated.

Ambassador Akbaruddin and his wife Mrs. Padma Akbaruddin have two sons.

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