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      Rahul Chhabra

IIM Calcutta
Former Secretary, Ministry
of External Affairs
Former Ambassador of India 
to Hungary


Ambassador Chhabra has a distinguished track record across global & local settings, including leadership roles spanning policy making, execution and corporate engagement. A strategic thinker with deep knowledge and insights and an extensive global network, he is passionate, energetic and an inspirational leader, adaptable & adept at building high performing, empowered, result oriented teams.


Fluent in English, Hindi and French, he is currently Independent Board Director, Member of the Audit & CSR Committees at Greenlam Industries Ltd. Amb Chhabra is also an International Guest Speaker at Conferences, Seminars, Universities & Colleges across the globe.


Amb Chhabra held the post of Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs until his retirement in July 2021, where among several tasks, he spearheaded India’s US $ 40 billion Development Partnership Program & guided EXIM Bank policies as Board member. In this role, he coordinated India's positions in multilateral economic organizations including WTO, IBSA & ISA and planned & executed Investment & Trade promotion campaigns abroad.

Amb Chhabra was High Commissioner to Kenya, Ambassador to Somalia and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), ensuring first ever adoption of 2 resolutions & United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), based in Nairobi (2018-20). As Ambassador to Hungary and Bosnia & Herzegovina (2015-18), he successfully promoted significant Indian investments into Hungary following Brexit. 

At Headquarters, as Joint Secretary (Central Europe), he conceived and organized the first two editions of the India-Central Europe Business Forum which has now become a regular feature in the     Indian business calendar. Among several other initiatives, he was also instrumental in focusing India’s foreign policy towards the Arctic and the V-4. While earlier serving in New Delhi, he worked to promote foreign investment flows into India, having been part of  India’s delegation to the World Economic Forum at Davos. Later, he served as Director for External Publicity at the Ministry of External Affairs, addressing India’s engagement and official communications at a global level and Director in the Foreign Secretary’s Office, coordinating policies & actions within Ministry & across all Government of India departments.

Amb Chhabra successfully delivered the Indian government agenda living across the Asia Pacific (China, Philippines, India), Europe (France, Belgium, Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina), United States and Africa (Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Cape-Verde, Gambia, Somalia).


After an undergraduate degree in Economics, on the merit list, from the prestigious St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, he obtained a postgraduate degree in Economics, with a national scholarship, from the premier institute Delhi School of Economics and Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta, where he was placed on the Roll of Honour. He worked in a leading bank, consultancy, market research agency and the Indian Audit & Accounts Service.

Mr. Rahul Chhabra is married to Kavita and they have two adult sons working in the US.

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