Brief Profile

Isher Judge Ahluwalia is Chairperson, Board of Governors, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), where she served as Director and Chief Executive from 1997 to 2001. Dr Ahluwalia was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India in the year 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature. Dr Ahluwalia was Chairperson of the High Powered Expert Committee on Urban Infrastructure Services, appointed by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, which submitted its report in March 2011. She is Member, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, Government of India and is on the Boards of a number of premier research institutes in India. Dr Ahluwalia was Vice Chairperson of the Punjab State Planning Board from 2005 to 2007.

Dr Ahluwalia is a Member of a recently set up Eminent Persons Group on India-ASEAN by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. She is Vice Chairperson, Global Development Network, New Delhi and Member, Board of Trustees of the International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka.  She was Chairperson, Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, D.C. from 2003 to 2006. Dr Ahluwalia was a Member of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) of the Asian Development Bank, which submitted its report, “Towards a New Asian Development Bank in a New Asia” in May 2008. She continues to serve on an advisory committee of the Asian Development Bank on regional integration. She was a member of the Commission on Macro-Economics and Health which submitted its report to the Director General, WHO in 2002.

Dr. Ahluwalia received her B.A. from Presidency College, Calcutta University, M.A. from the Delhi School of Economics, and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), all in economics. Her research has focused on industrial development, macro-economic reforms, and issues in social sector development in India.  She is an author/co-author/editor of several books including India’s Economic Reforms and Development: Essays for Manmohan Singh (OUP, 1998), which she co-edited with Prof. I.M.D Little. Her book, Industrial Growth in India: Stagnation since the Mid-Sixties (OUP, 1985) received the Batheja Memorial Award for the best book on the Indian economy in 1987, and her book, Productivity and Growth in Indian Manufacturing (OUP, 1991) focused attention of the policy makers in India on the long standing problem of poor productivity performance in the manufacturing sector of India. Dr. Ahluwalia has published many articles in professional journals and also engaged actively in policy debate in India through writing in newspapers and magazines and participating in discussions in the electronic media.