Dr Poonam Gupta joined NCAER as its new Director General on July 1st, 2021. She succeeds Dr Shekhar Shah, who completed his second five-year term in May earlier this year. Dr Gupta is the first woman Director General of NCAER.
Dr Gupta brings with her a rich experience spanning more than two decades to this key post. Prior to joining NCAER, she was Lead Economist, Global Macro and Market Research, International Finance Corporation (IFC); and Lead Economist for India at the World Bank. Her erstwhile appointments include the Reserve Bank of India Chair Professor at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP); Professor at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER); Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics; and Economist at the International Monetary Fund.
Earlier, in the month of April this year, NCAER’s Governing Body announced the appointment of Poonam Gupta as its next Director General. In a statement issued to the media, Nandan Nilekani, President of NCAER said “We are delighted to have Poonam succeed Shekhar at the end of his successful tenure. NCAER has a unique heritage among India’s intellectual landscape and she brings a set of unique experiences and perspectives that will accelerate, deepen and broaden our research agenda with impact and rigor”.
Dr Gupta has published extensively in peer-reviewed scholarly and policy journals and is among the top economists working on India. Her work has frequently featured in the national and international media, including in The Economist, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal. She holds a PhD in International Economics from the University of Maryland, USA, and a Masters in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.
Dr Gupta will be leading NCAER’s annual flagship Conference, the India Policy Forum (IPF), from July 12 through July 15, 2021. The IPF, now in its 18th year, is a marquee economic policy event, on the academic and policy horizon of New Delhi. IPF 2021 will feature a galaxy of eminent speakers, and panellists from India and overseas, as well as top researchers and Indian policymakers. It will facilitate lively debate and discussion on the key economic challenges facing the nation.
Looking ahead to a vivacious and engaging Conference, Dr Gupta opined, “The India Policy Forum is one of the most important annual Conferences held at NCAER, and I am delighted to commence my tenure at NCAER almost in tandem with this event. We at NCAER look forward to welcoming a host of luminaries on this occasion, all of whom will enrich the discussions at the Conference.”
She stated, “The last year and a half has been extremely tough for India and the world for both the people and the economy. Through our various forums and advocacy events, we at NCAER are trying to do our bit to find ways to mitigate the crisis caused by the pandemic-induced lockdowns and economic recession, and alleviate people’s suffering, especially the marginalised sections who have faced the brunt of the impact. The IPF will thus focus on these critical issues, with the best of minds from the academic, research and policy communities coming together to seek solutions to deal with the pandemic and restore both economic buoyancy and public confidence.”