Ambassador Amar Sinha, IFS (Retd)

Former Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of Foreign Affairs &
India's Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Ambassador Amar Sinha is a career diplomat who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1982. He is an Economics Graduate from Patna University and worked with the State Bank of India for over two years before joining the Indian Foreign Service.

During his diplomatic career spanning 35 years, he has served in various capacities in Algiers (1983-87), Buenos Aires (1987-90), in the Ministry of External Affairs as Private Secretary to Minister of State for External Affairs, Chemicals & Fertilizers, Parliamentary Affairs and Department of Electronics and Ocean Development from July 91 to May 96. He then served as Director (BSM) in Ministry of External Affairs from June 1996 to July 1997 and as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Minister of State for External Affairs from July 1997 to April 1998.

He also held diplomatic positions in Indian Missions in Washington DC [1998-2001], Jakarta [2001-2004] and Brussels [2004-2007] before being appointed India’s Ambassador to Tajikistan (April 2007 to July 2010). In all his assignments commerce and trade related work formed a substantial element of his portfolio.

During 2010-2013 he was on deputation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and served as Joint Secretary in the Trade Policy Division and the RMTR Division handling WTO related matters and issues related to multilateral economic negotiations. He also oversaw India’s participation in multilateral fora such as UNCTAD, APTA, BIMSTEC, G20, IBSA, BRICS, etc.

He was appointed as Ambassador of India to Afghanistan in 2013 and presented his credentials to then President Hamid Karzai of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on June 22, 2013. He was instrumental in getting the high profile projects in Afghanistan (Salma Dam, Afghan Parliament etc) completed through constant follow up and personal monitoring. He also actively supported the Afghan Cricket Board in all its ventures leading up to – a home ground for Afghanistan team in Greater Noida, India, Afghanistan joining the ICC and getting Afghan players to play in the IPL.

He moved back to New Delhi after a successful tenure in Kabul to take over the charge of Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs on January 15, 2016. He held this charge till his retirement from Government service on 30th June 2017. The charge of Secretary Economic Relations not only included all multilateral economic matters but also the entire aid and assistance programs of India, Energy Security, Trade and Investment promotion etc. He handled the BRICS Summit hosted by India in 2016. On the political side he was in-charge of India’s relations with all countries in the Gulf, West Asia and Africa. He actively worked on the India Japan Asia Africa Growth corridor initiative.

After his retirement Government appointed him to the Board of HPCL as Independent Director (2017-2020) and on the National Security Advisory Board (Jan 2019-Dec 2020) Currently he is distinguished fellow in a think tank RIS and on the Advisory Board of India Foundation. He is also associated with the Vivekananda Foundation and other think tanks besides the CII’s international council.

He speaks Hindi, English, French and Spanish fluently and is familiar with Russian and Dari (Farsi). His interests include travelling, sports, reading and he is an avid Bridge, Tennis and Golf player.