Surya Sethi

Distinguished Fellow

English, Hindi, Punjabi


Surya Sethi is a recognized thought leader with expertise in contemporary development issues facing a climate and resource constrained world. His worldwide experience covers assignments in government, multilateral & bilateral agencies, private and public sector enterprises, academia & non-governmental organizations. He has successfully delivered functional and management responsibilities, as well as crafted policies and regulations at the enterprise, sectoral, national and international levels. He has worked in over 40 countries in diverse fields spanning energy, power, physical infrastructure, multiple industrial sectors and financial markets. 

Mr. Sethi retired as the Principal Advisor Power & Energy and Core Climate Negotiator, in the rank of Secretary to Government of India. Earlier, he was Chief Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation, Washington DC; and Group Head Overseas Investments at Tata, India’s largest private sector conglomerate, where he started his career in the prestigious Tata Administrative Services in 1975. Post retirement, Mr. Sethi was appointed Professor at the LKY School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore and also held the position of UNESCO Chair Professor Climate Science and Policy at the Teri School of Advanced Studies, 

Mr. Sethi served the Indian Prime Minister’s Energy Coordination Committee and wrote the first Integrated Energy Policy of India (2006). He was part of the team that crafted India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (2008). He was a key contributor to the Indian Electricity Act (2003), and the resulting National Electricity, Tariff, Rural Electrification, Hydro and other Energy Sector policies. He also contributed significantly to the Regulatory Bills that established independent regulation in various energy sub-sectors. He represented India at the UNFCCC, IPCC, UN Energy and Climate Dialogue and several other bilateral and multilateral climate and energy forums. 

Mr. Sethi was Non-Resident Senior Fellow of Brookings, Washington DC; and has been a guest speaker at Oxford, Princeton, Université Paris‐Dauphine, University of Technology Sydney and University of Cape Town. He has provided thought leadership to a number of think tanks around the world including CEPS, Brussels; IFFRI, Paris; Chatham House, London; IGES, Japan; IIASA, Austria; and KAF, Germany.