Mr. Wadhawan is an experienced economic and public policy professional with 40 years of work experience in various sectors including the civil service, regulation, academics, private sector, and international development. He spent 36 years in the Indian Administrative Service, and served as the Commerce Secretary, Government of India for 3 years. During this tenure, as the second ranking official in the Commerce Ministry, he managed India’s foreign trade policy, negotiated bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, and implemented measures to promote exports and create an investor-friendly environment.
Previously, Mr. Wadhawan was responsible for policymaking and oversight in banking, insurance, the national pension system, and capital markets. He played a significant role in passing of the Insurance Laws Amendment Act 2015, which reformed the Indian insurance sector, raised the foreign investment cap, and allowed foreign reinsurers and Lloyds to operate in India. He also oversaw the management of the National Pension System corpus as PFRDA chair, coordinated capital markets policy and regulation with the Securities and Exchange Board and the Reserve Bank of India, promoted foreign portfolio and direct investment flows, and dealt with matters related to the Financial Stability Board, Financial Stability and Development Council, and Financial Action Task Force. During his time at the Prime Minister’s office, he provided advice on macroeconomic and sectoral policy reforms in areas like regulation, PPPs, fiscal management, and the power sector.
Mr. Wadhawan has extensive policy experience at the provincial level in urban development, forests and environment, rural development, cooperatives, and education. At the field level, he performed various development administration tasks related to rural and urban development project implementation, and public administration tasks related to law-and-order management, election management, and disaster relief. He was also part of the Uttar-Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission and worked with the World Bank and the African Development Bank to support policy, regulatory, and utility reforms.
He is currently on the board of several companies in the insurance and financial sector, and an economic and public policy advisor to various entities.
Based at New Delhi, Mr. Wadhawan holds a PhD in Economics from Duke University, where he studied “Time Path of Macro Variables under Alternative Structural Settings”. He has taught economics at Duke, Penn State University, and other institutions, and has published articles on economics and public policy issues.