Ambassador Pankaj Saran

Ambassador Pankaj Saran

Distinguished Fellow

    Areas of Research


    Pankaj Saran is a former diplomat with forty years of experience in foreign, strategic and national security affairs. He has served in key positions within the Government of India in the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Security Council Secretariat, Ministry of External Affairs and in Indian Missions in Moscow, Dhaka, Washington DC, Cairo and Geneva.

    He has served as India’s Ambassador to Russia from 2016 to 2018, and India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh from 2012 to 2015, periods which saw major developments in India’s relations with these countries.

    Pankaj Saran has many years of specialization in India’s immediate neighbourhood. Apart from spending several years in Bangladesh, he headed the Northern Division in the Ministry of External Affairs dealing with Nepal and Bhutan at a time of profound internal transformations in these countries and in their relations between 2005 to 2007.

    He has served in different capacities in the Prime Minister’s Office under five different Prime Ministers for nine years between the period 1995 to 2012, contributing to decision making at the highest levels in a diverse range of sectors. Apart from foreign affairs and national security, these included energy, finance, commerce, science and technology, electronics, telecommunications, space, atomic energy and defence policy.

    From 2018 to 2021, he served as the Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Affairs under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the National Security Council Secretariat dealing with regional and global strategy formulation for the country. He led the formulation of post-Covid strategies for India from the national security point of view, strengthening of the maritime security framework for India and enhancing maritime cooperation within the Indian Ocean Region. He paid special attention to neighbourhood policies and strengthening of India’s technology and economic security.

    He has participated in as well as organized several international negotiations and Summit level meetings in India and around the world. He is well versed in Hindi, English, Russian and Bengali. Pankaj Saran is currently an adviser, commentator and speaker on international affairs and national security issues.


    Pankaj Saran earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Hindu College, Delhi University and his Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 1982.


    All Publications