Nitin Desai

Mr. Nitin Desai, a graduate of LSE, taught economics at two UK Universities, worked briefly in the private sector, had a long stint as a government official in India and then joined the UN in 1990 from where he retired in 2003. In India he was in the Planning Commission (1973-88) and later in the Ministry of Finance as the Chief Economic Adviser (1988-90). In the UN, where he was Under Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, his major work was the organization of a series of global summits, notably the Rio Earth Summit (1992), the Copenhagen Social Development Summit (1995), the Monterrey Finance and Development Summit (2002) and the Johannesburg Sustainable Development Summit (2002).

After his retirement he has been involved in a variety of public policy activities nationally and internationally. He continued to assist the UN until December 2010 as Special Adviser on Internet Governance to the UN Secretary General and the chair of the multi stake holder group that organises the annual Internet Governance Forum. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change and the National Broadcasting Standards Authority. He is an Honorary Fellow of the LSE. He is the chair of the Governing Board of the Institute of Economic Growth and the Governing Council of the National Institute of Urban Affairs. He is associated with many NGOs and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the World Wide Fund for Nature International, the Board of Directors of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and the Executive Council of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. He writes a monthly column in the Business Standard.