Speakers Profile

Ambassador (Retd) SkandTayal:
After joining the Indian Foreign Service (1976), Ambassador (Retd) Tayal served in Indian Missions in Sofia, Warsaw, Geneva and Moscow. He was India’s Consul General in Johannesburg (1996-98) and Houston (2002-05), and Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan (2005-08). Since 2008, he was Ambassador of India to the Republic of Korea. Ambassador (Retd) Tayal was Secretary of the Indian National Commission for UNESCO during 1991-95 and served briefly as the Director in charge of IITs in the Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. In July 2013 Ambassador Tayal was appointed as Chairman of Governing Board of the well-known Dyal Singh College in New Delhi. He is also the Vice President of India-Republic of Korea Friendship society.He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies in the Delhi University. Ambassador(Retd) Tayal has wide experience in both bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and has been a frequent speaker on contemporary affairs.
NavtejSarna: Secretary (West),
MEA NavtejSarna studied Commerce and Law at Delhi University and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1980. He is presently Secretary (West), MEA and has earlier served as a diplomat in Moscow, Warsaw, Thimphu, Geneva, Tehran and Washington DC. He was the longest serving Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs from 2002-2008. From 2008-2012 he was India's Ambassador to Israel.Mr. Sarna is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books. He speaks Russian and Polish apart from English and Indian languages.
Sujata Mehta: Secretary (ER & DPA), MEA,
Joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1980 after earning a Master of Philosophy in Political Science. She served in Indian Missions in Moscow, Dhaka and at the UN in New York apart from a stint to the UN in Gaza and in New York. She has also served as Under Secretary and Joint Secretary in MEA and as Deputy Secretary/Director and as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Also served on deputation to the UN in Gaza and in New York. Served as Ambassador to Spain and as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva before returning to Headquarters in July 2013 as Additional Secretary and later Special Secretary.
Dr C Raja Mohan: Distinguished Fellow, ORF
Dr. Raja Mohan has a master’s degree in Nuclear Physics and a Ph.D. in International Relations. Earlier he was a Professor of South Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He was the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress, Washington DC during 2009-10. Dr. Mohan served as the Diplomatic Editor and the Washington Correspondent of ’The Hindu’ and the Strategic Affairs Editor of ’The Indian Express’. He was a member of India’s National Security Advisory Board. He is currently a Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore, a Non-Resident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC and a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute, Sydney.
Dr. S. Jaishankar: Foreign Secretary, MEA
Dr.Jaishankar has more than three decades of diplomatic experience. Joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1977, Dr.Jaishankar has represented India's interests and fostered friendly working relationships in countries around the world. After serving in several foreign postings including Russia, Sri Lanka and East Europe,Dr.Jaishankar returned to India, where he led the Americas Division in the Ministry of External Affairs. After three years heading the division, he again left India in 2007 to serve as High Commissioner to Singapore for two years. Dr.Jaishankar was the Ambassador of India to China from 2009 to 2013 and was the Ambassador of India to US before assuming responsibilities as Foreign Secretary. Dr.Jaishankar holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil in International Relations and a M.A. in Political Science. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
K A Badrinath: Editor - Policy at Financial Chronicle
K ABadrinath has been working at Financial Chronicle since 2008 and is currently serving as the Editor- Policy at the paper. He was previously the Deputy Chief of Bureau (economy) at Hindustan Times.
Bhaskar Bhat: Managing Director, Titan Company Limited
assumed the position of Managing Director of Titan Company Limited on 1st April 2002. He is a B.Tech (Mechanical Engineering) from IIT - Madras, and a post graduate diploma holder in Management from IIM – Ahmedabad, India. Having started his career as a management trainee with Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co. in 1983 he moved on after 5 years and joined the Tata Watch Project (initiated at Tata Press Ltd.) Since 1983 Bhaskar has been associated with the Tata Watch Project, later to become Titan Watches Ltd., and now Titan Company Ltd. At Titan, Bhaskar dealt with Sales & Marketing, HR, International Business and various general managerial assignments. Bhaskar is a member of the Governing Council at the T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal and the SDM Institute of Management and Development, Mysore.
AshwiniMohapatra: West Asian Studies, JNU
AshwiniMohapatra is a professor at Centre for West Asian Studies in School of International Studies, JNU. His areas of interest are West Asian & Mediterranean Affairs; Peace & Conflict Studies. He was a Visiting Professor at the Chou University, Tokyo(June 2009), European Union Visitor to Brussels (September 2009) and Visiting Fellow at Maison Des Sciences De L'Homme (MSH), Paris(June - July 2008)
Sameer Patil: Associate Fellow, Gateway House
Mr. Patil is an Associate Fellow, National Security, Ethnic Conflict and Terrorism at Gateway House. Prior to this, he was Assistant Director at the National Security Council Secretariat in Prime Minister’s Office, New Delhi. Sameer has interned at the Indian Pugwash Society and the M. L. Sondhi Institute of Asia Pacific Affairs. He has written extensively on various aspects of national security including cyber security, fake currency, terrorism, India-Pakistan relations, India-China relations, the Kashmir issue and nuclear proliferation for various magazines, journals and newspapers.
Ambassador Shyam Saran: Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries
Ambassador Saran is a career diplomat and has served in several capitals of the world including Beijing, Tokyo and Geneva. He has been India’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Indonesia and Nepal and High Commissioner to Mauritius. In the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, he headed the Economic Division and the Multilateral Economic Division and also headed the East Asia Division which handles relations with China and Japan. 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. After a career spanning 34 years in the Indian Foreign Service, he was appointed India’s Foreign Secretary in 2004 and held that position till his retirement from service in September 2006. Subsequent to his retirement, he was appointed Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Indo-US civil nuclear issues and later as Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change.Ambassador Saran is also the Chairman, National Security Advisory Board and Senior Fellow with the Centre for Policy Research. He was awarded the Padma Bhushanin 2011.
Dr.NareshTrehan: CMD, Medanta
Dr.NareshTrehan, a graduate from King George Medical College, is a renowned Cardiovascular and Cardiothoracic surgeon, trained and practiced at New York University Medical Centre Manhattan USA. He is also recognized by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr NareshTrehan is the Chairman & Managing Director, Medanta - The Medicity, a 1500 bedded multi super speciality institute, which offers cutting edge technology and state of art treatment facilities at an affordable cost.Dr.Trehan was the executive director and founder of the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre from 1987 to 2007. He has received many prestigious awards, including the Padma Shree and the Padma Bhushan Award, presented by the Government of India. He was the President of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery (ISMICS), Minneapolis, USA 2004-05 and has also received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from three prestigious universities.
Tuhin Sen - Lead Strategist, Global Development Network
Tuhin Sen works as the Lead Strategist for the Global Development Network. He has sixteen years of experience in formulating and implementing strategies for organisations and brands across private and the social sector. He was instrumental in the launch of Santro, which effectively launched Hyundai’s operations in India. He helped the UK High Commission in India promote its Public Diplomacy Initiative. He has also assisted the UNESCO in formulating its strategy for The Heritage Passport Programme in India. Mr. Sen has worked as a consultant to the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate of the OECD in Paris on the Global Industrial Competitiveness Project across automotive, biotech and ICT sectors. For DFID, he has conceptualized and implemented a climate change communication strategy with a South Asian footprint. Prior to joining GDN, he has worked for global networks such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Lowe Worldwide and Leo Burnett. Tuhin holds an MPA from Sciences Po, Paris where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with Economic and Territorial Development as his specialisation.
Virat Bhatia - President, South Asia, AT&T
As President, South Asia for AT&T, Mr. Bhatia, is responsible for supporting AT&T’s overall corporate development, investment and business strategies. He bears direct responsibility for supporting AT&T’s businesses in the region as well as the corporate development group through advocacy and external / public affairs work.Before his recent elevation to this regional assignment, he helped set up and served as the first Chairman of AT&T’s 74% owned JV in India from 2006 – 2008. He has been closely involved with the drafting of the National Telecom Policy of 1999, the TRAI Act and telecom legislations in India. He has held several key positions with leading industry associations, including as Vice Chairman of the AMCHAM Board. Mr. Bhatia is an alumnus of the J.F. Kennedy School at the Harvard University in USA and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration.