On May 1, 2022, Suman Bery took over as the NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister. An experienced policy economist and research administrator, at the time of his appointment, Suman Bery was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, a Global Fellow in the Asia Programme of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington D.C. and a non-resident fellow at Bruegel, an economic policy research institution in Brussels. He was also a member of the Board of the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, New Delhi.
Bery feels deeply honoured to have been entrusted with this responsibility at a time of great global uncertainty. He feels India’s economic and social choices are of significance to the entire world, it is an important part of the world economy and is likely to be even more going forward. According to him, it is important for the sake of the world and for India to understand the Indian experience. “I believe that with NITI Aayog, Prime Minister Modi’s expectation is to make India a global brand. Not only does he expect NITI Aayog to help and support India in making India stronger internally, but the world should also know the success story of India,” says Bery. Niti Aayog’s challenge, he believes, is to develop a vision of the way ahead based on deep analysis and wide debate and to work with India’s states, which is where economic development ultimately happens.
Bery’s rich experience, both in India and abroad will prove immensely useful in his current role. From early 2012 till mid2016, Bery was Royal Dutch Shell’s global Chief Economist based in The Hague. In this capacity, he advised the board and the management on global economic and political developments. He was also part of the senior leadership of Shell’s global scenarios group. During his time at Shell, he led a collaborative project with Indian think tanks to apply scenario modelling to India’s energy sector.
Before his appointment at Shell, Bery served as Director-General (Chief Executive) of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in New Delhi-one of India’s most respected institutions of empirical socioeconomic research. During his tenure, NCAER greatly extended its global links and was recognized as one of India’s leading think tanks by the independent and globally renowned Think Tank Initiative. During his decade long innings at NCAER, Bery was at various times a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council; of India’s Statistical Commission; and the Reserve Bank of India’s Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy. This apart, he commented extensively in the media on economic issues and contributed a monthly column to an Indian business newspaper.
Prior to NCAER, Bery was with the World Bank in Washington D.C., which he joined through the Young Professional Programme. His career at the World Bank spanned research on financial sector development and, country policy and strategy, notably in Latin America and the Caribbean. His country experience includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru. His experience in financial sector reform in Latin America led to his appointment as Special Consultant to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between 1992 and 1994. Here, Bery remained actively involved in developing proposals for reform of the government debt markets, linkages between general financial sector deregulation and the development of the bond market, as well as issues of market structure, drawing upon the experience of other developing countries.
Suman Bery has a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and an undergraduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Magdalen College, University of Oxford. His PhD dissertation research, also at Princeton, was on the monetary policy instruments of the Reserve Bank of India. His professional writing includes contributions on the political economy of reform, financial sector and banking reform, and energy trends and policy in developing countries.