A politician and former diplomat, Hardeep Singh Puri is the Union minister for civil aviation and housing & urban affairs in the second term of the Narendra Modi-led central government.
A 1974 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Puri served as the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. Previously, he had been the chairman of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, president of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from August 2011 to November 2012, secretary-general of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism in New York, and vice-president of the International Peace Institute.
Puri was born in Delhi and went to Hindu College of the Delhi University (DU), where he received his bachelors and masters degrees in history. He then went on to work as a lecturer of history at DU’s St Stephen's College.
Puri served as a joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, from 1994 to 1997, and then for a second time from 1999 to 2002. He was also a joint secretary in the Ministry of Defence from 1997 to 1999. He subsequently became secretary (economic relations) in Ministry of External Affairs from 2009 to 2013.
During his career as a diplomat, Puri was stationed at important posts in Brazil, Japan, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. Between 1988 and 1991, he was the coordinator of the UNDP/UNCTAD Multilateral Trade Negotiations Project to help Developing Countries in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. He also served as the chairman of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee from January 2011 to February 2013.
From 2009 to 2013, Puri was the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations. He joined International Peace Institute as a senior advisor in June 2013.
In January 2014, Puri joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), expressing an admiration for the party's approach to national security. In May 2019, he became the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.