IIT Madras – Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Humanities & Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

T S Tirumurti

Distinguished Professor

A career Indian diplomat serving in the Indian Foreign Service between 1985 and 2022, with a career spanning 37 years. Have represented India’s interests in various capacities before retiring in June 2022 as Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, New York. Prior to the posting in New York, was Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.

Permanent Representative of India to the UN | New York, USA 2020 – 2022

  • Specially appointed to this post at a critical juncture, while overseeing the campaign for India’s election to the UN Security Council (2021 – 2022)
  • Represented India in the UN Security Council as Ambassador/ Permanent Representative – a rare privilege since this was only the 8th time in history that India was elected to the Security Council
  • Led the campaign for India’s elections to several UN and other related multilateral bodies

President of the UN Security Council | New York, USA August 2021

  • Was the President of the UN Security Council for August 2021
  • Elected as Chairs of three important Committees of the UN Security Council namely Taliban Sanctions Committee, Counter-terrorism Committee and Libyan Sanctions Committee
  • Steered Indian interests in the Security Council through various issues and conflicts inter alia in Afghanistan, Myanmar, African countries, Middle East, Ukraine etc., as well as in the UN General Assembly
  • Was India’s voice in the Council when the Ukraine conflict broke out in February 2022

Secretary to Govt. of India, Ministry of External Affairs | New Delhi, India 2018 – 2020

  • Handled the Economic Relations portfolio. This was a vast portfolio which included, inter alia, India’s development partnership with the developing countries involving Lines of Credit, grants and HRD. It also included India’s bilateral relations with all countries in the Gulf and the Arab World and in Africa
  • Have intimate knowledge of the Arab world and knowledge of the Arabic language was an asset
  • Accompanied Hon’ble Rashtrapathiji, Hon’ble Vice President and Hon’ble Prime Minister on several occasions to these countries

Sherpa for BRICS and IBSA 2018 – 2020

  • Was the Sherpa (Senior Official Head) for the prominent plurilateral group of emerging economies “BRICS”. BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
  • Accompanied the Hon’ble Prime Minister to BRICS Summits in Johannesburg (2018) and Brasilia (2019) respectively
  • Was also Sherpa for “IBSA” – a plurilateral grouping with India, Brazil and South Africa
  • Participated in IBSA Summit in 2011 in Pretoria

Director, Board of Directors, EXIM Bank of India | Mumbai, India 2018 – 2020

High Commissioner to Malaysia | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2013 – 2018

  • Was India’s High Commissioner to Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur for more than 4 years
  • As one of the longest serving Indian High Commissioners to Malaysia – tenure saw the relations between the two countries scale new heights

Have previously served in several Indian Missions abroad:

  • Second Secretary in Indian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt 1986 – 1989
  • First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
    • Dealt with climate change and environmental issues, ILO, WHO, WIPO 1993 – 1996
  • First Indian Representative to the Palestinian Authority, Gaza, Palestine
    • Set up the first Indian Mission in Gaza City 1996 – 1998
  • Counsellor at the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C., USA
    • Served at an important juncture in India-US relations 2001 – 2004
  • Deputy Chief of Mission in Jakarta, Indonesia 2005 – 2007

Served in various capacities at Headquarters in New Delhi, India and, inter alia, held important portfolios dealing with India’s critical relations with five of its neighbours, with multilateral bodies like the UN and with climate change negotiations.

  • Under Secretary for Bhutan (1989-1993) and, subsequently, Head of Division and Joint Secretary for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Maldives (2007-2011)
  • Head of Division and Joint Secretary for United Nations dealing with economic and social issues.
  • Have the distinction of serving in PMI to UN in Geneva and in PMI to UN in New York as well as at Headquarters as Head of the UN Division (2011-2013)
  • Held the sensitive portfolio of Director in the Foreign Secretary’s Office and served three Foreign Secretaries (1998-2001)
  • Have been India’s negotiator in Climate Change and Environment related issues for several years.
  • Oversaw the launching of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi in 2018
  • Led the Indian delegation to numerous multilateral meetings and fora, including to UN related meetings, BRICS, IBSA, ICAO, ISA etc.
  • Diploma in Arabic Language, American University | Cairo, Egypt 1988

  • L.L.B (Bachelor of Law), University of Delhi, Campus Law Centre | New Delhi, India 1985

  • B.Com(Bachelor of Commerce),Vivekananda College, Ramakrishna Mission | Chennai, India 1982

  • Merit Scholarship awardee by University of Madras | Chennai, India 1982

  • School Education – Vidya Mandir | Chennai, India

Author of 3 books:

  • Kissing the Heavens: The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra (travelogue) (1999)
  • Clive Avenue (2001) – published by Penguin | Critically acclaimed
  • Chennaivaasi (2012) – published by Harper Collins | Critically acclaimed
  • Member, Board of Governors, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

  • Writer for prominent dailies and publications, including the Environment Policy and Law journal, on a range of foreign policy and climate change related issues.

  • Regularly delivering lectures in various Universities and educational institutions to sensitise young minds on foreign policy and other related issues.