Ambassador Rakesh Sood is a Post Graduate in Physics and additionally in Economics and Defence Studies. He has over 38 years of experience in the field of foreign affairs, economic diplomacy and international security issues.
Ambassador Sood initially served in the Indian missions at Brussels, Dakar, Geneva and Islamabad in different capacities and as Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington, later in his career. He set up the Disarmament and International Security Affairs Division in the Foreign Ministry, which he led for nine years till the end of 2000.
During this period, Ambassador Sood was in charge for multilateral disarmament negotiations, bilateral dialogues with Pakistan, strategic dialogues with other countries including US, UK, France and Israel (especially after the nuclear tests in 1998), non-proliferation related export controls and dealt with India’s role in the ASEAN Regional Forum, as part of the ‘look East’ policy.
He then served as India’s first Ambassador – Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament at the United Nations in Geneva. He also chaired a number of international Working Groups including those relating to negotiations on landmines and cluster munitions and was a member of UN Secretary General’s Disarmament Advisory Board (2002-03).
Subsequently, he was India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to early 2008, Ambassador to Nepal from 2008 to 2011 and to France from 2011 to March 2013.
In September 2013, Ambassador Sood was appointed Special Envoy of the Prime Minister for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Issues; a position he held till May 2014.
Since his retirement he has been writing and commenting regularly in both print and audio visual media on India’s foreign policy, its economic dimensions and regional &international security issues. He is a frequent speaker/contributor at various policy planning groups and reputed think-tanks in India and overseas.
He currently holds the position of Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation.
In recent years, Ambassador Sood has been invited to serve on company boards as an independent Director.