Dr Rajendra K Pachauri is the former Chairman and founding CEO of the New Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). He is currently Chief Mentor of the POP (Protect Our Planet) Movement and President of the World Sustainable Development Forum.
He was also Chancellor of TERI University from 1998 to 2016. In April 2002, Dr Pachauri was elected the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988 (Re-elected in September 2008). He continued in this position till February 2015. He received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC along with former Vice President Al Gore for the year 2007. He was the Founding Director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI) from July 2009 till June 2012 following which he was the Senior Adviser to YCEI until June 2014. He has been active in several international forums dealing with the subject of climate change and its policy dimensions.
He was conferred with the “Padma Vibhushan”, second highest civilian award, for his services in the field of science and engineering in January 2008 by the President of India.
To acknowledge his immense contributions to the field of environment, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India in January 2001. He was also bestowed the “Officier De La Légion D’Honneur” by the Government of France in 2006.
He has also been conferred with ‘Commander of the Order of Leopold II’ by the King of Belgians in July 2009; the ‘Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland’ by the Prime Minister of Finland in February 2010; ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’ by His Majesty Akihito, Emperor of Japan in April 2010; Mexican Order of the ‘Aztec Eagle’ by the President of Mexico in June, 2012; ‘Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy’ by the President of the Republic of Italy in February, 2014.
He has been conferred Honorary Doctorates from 25 Universities including Yale University, Connecticut, U.S.A., Ritsumeikan University, Japan, University of Liege, University of New South Wales, North Carolina State University, Universite De Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France, Brandeis University and others.
Commencing his career with the Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi, where he held several managerial positions, Dr Pachauri joined the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, USA, where he obtained an MS in industrial engineering in 1972 and, a Ph.D. in Economics and Industrial Engineering. He also served as Assistant Professor (August 1974-May 1975) and Visiting Faculty Member (Summer 1976 and 1977) in the Department of Economics and Business.
On his return to India, he joined the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, as Member Senior Faculty (June 1975-June 1979) and went on to become Director, Consulting and Applied Research Division (July 1979-March 1981). He joined TERI as Director in April 1982.
He has also been a Visiting Professor, Resource Economics, at the West Virginia University (August 1981-August 1982); Senior Visiting Fellow, Resource Systems Institute, East-West Center, USA (May-June 1982); and Visiting Research Fellow, The World Bank, Washington, DC (June-September 1990). Recognizing his vast knowledge and experience in the energy-environment field, the United Nations Development Programme appointed him as part-time adviser to its Administrator in the fields of energy and sustainable management of natural resources (1994-99).
Dr Pachauri’s wide-ranging expertise has resulted in his membership of various international and national committees and boards. At the international level, these include his positions as Member, Advisory Board for the Clinton Climate Initiative, USA, January 2010 onwards; Member of a High Panel on Peace and Dialogue among Cultures, UNESCO, France, December 2009 onwards; Adviser, International Advisory Board, Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan, April 2006 – March 31st, 2009; Member, Board of the International Solar Energy Society (1991-97); Member, World Resources Institute Council (1992); President and Chairman, International Association for Energy Economics, Washington, D C (1988, 1989-90, respectively); and President, Asian Energy Institute (1992 onwards). He was a member of the board of the Global Humanitarian Forum (founded by the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan) from 2007 to 2010.
At the national level the committees of the Government of India to which he has contributed include the Member, Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Climate Change (June 2007 to February 2015); Member of Advisory Group of Ministry of Power, Government of India, 31st January 2013 onwards; Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India (July 2001 to May 2004); Advisory Board on Energy, reporting directly to the Prime Minister (1983-88); National Environmental Council, under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister (November 1993 to April 1999); and Oil Industry Restructuring Group, ‘R’ Group, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (1994).
Dr Pachauri has also been associated with academic and research institutes. He was on the Board of Directors of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (June 2006 to June 2009) and also on the Board of Directors of the NTPC Limited (January 2006). He was on the Board of Directors of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (January 1999 to September 2003); Board of Directors of GAIL (India) Ltd. (April 2003 to October 2004); National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (August 2002 to August 2005); the Board of Governors, Shriram Scientific and Industrial Research Foundation (September 1987-1990); the Board of Trustees of the India International Centre, New Delhi (2005 – 2009 and April 2015 onwards); President of the Bangalore International Centre (September 2013 – July 2015); the Governing Council (October 1987 onwards) and President (September 2004 – September 2006) of the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; and the Court of Governors, Administrative Staff College of India (1979-81).
In September 1999, he was appointed Chairman of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Heritage Foundation. Earlier, in April 1999, he was appointed Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Environment Agency, Government of Japan, in which position he still continues.
Dr Pachauri taught at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, USA, as a McCluskey Fellow during 6 September-8 December 2000. He has also authored 27 books and several papers and articles.