Mrs Gauri Kumar, IAS (Retd)
Former Secretary to Government of India,
Advisor, Wheels Global Foundation
Chair, WHEELS Water Council
Chair, Water & Sanitation Track of the Conference. .
During her career as an Indian Administrative Service officer, spanning more than four decades, Mrs Kumar has served in diverse Ministries and Departments of the government across Social, industry, Finance sectors. She has served in leadership positions in the central and state government, local self-government bodies and as a representative of the government in global fora. During her illustrious career, she is credited with some transformational initiatives, which have since sustained and grown in size and scope, over the years.
In her capacity as Chair of WHEELS Water Council, Mrs Kumar has led the Himachal Pradesh Pilot Project, from vision, collaboration to execution.
Mrs Kumar did her post graduation in Mathematics from Lucknow University and was awarded seven gold medals for outstanding academic performance. She also holds a degree of Master in Public Administration from Harvard University and was awarded the Littauer Fellowship by Harvard University for commitment to excellence, to academic achievement and to public service. She has contributed a chapter on ‘Industry and Labour’ in the recently published book ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’, edited by Shri K J Alphons, Member of Parliament, and a foreword by Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of India.
Mrs Kumar is a retired member of the 1979 batch of Indian Administrative Services (IAS). In the course of her distinguished career, she served as Secretary to Government of India, in the Union Ministry of Labour & Employment, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (Border Management). She served as Member/Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board, post her retirement. She has served in various capacities in the Union Ministries of Mines, Environment and Forests, Finance and Textiles.
While serving with the Government of Gujarat, Mrs Kumar has held the positions of Principal Secretary, Urban Development; Principal Secretary, Industries & Mines; Industries Commissioner and Secretary, Education Department. The Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2009 was held under her stewardship.
She is currently an Independent Director on the Boards of several distinguished companies and has been appointed by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner to serve as Independent External Monitor for two organisations.
She is the Founder Trustee of VayahVikas, an organization for the elderly, based in Bengaluru. She is a Member of the Board of Governors of Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration, Ahmedabad.She is the Delhi Public School (DPS) Society nominee on the Management Committees of several DPS schools in Gujarat and UP. She is a Special Invitee to the Management Committee of the Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce (BCIC)
She chairs the Water Council constituted by the WHEELS Global Foundation (a pan IIT philanthropic arm). A Pilot Project for Integrated Water Management, based on Scientific Data and Evidence-based Decision Support System, has been launched in Himachal Pradesh. It aspires to create a model of collaborative governance for holistic rural resurgence.
She is the Founder of an Edu tech startup which has launched an integrated Learning Platform for the education eco-system, encompassing teachers, students, parents, and schools. It’s positioned as a medium for making quality education accessible at scale.