Ronen Sen Indian diplomat

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Ronen Sen News Photo 070716-D-9880W-084 (cropped).jpg
Ambassador of India to the United States
In office
August 2004 - March 2009
Preceded byLalit Mansingh
Succeeded byMeera Shankar
High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom
In office
May 2002 - April 2004.
Succeeded byKamalesh Sharma
Ambassador of India to Germany
In office
October 1998 - May 2002
Ambassador of India to Russia
In office
October 1992 - October 1998
Ambassador of India to Mexico
In office
September 1991 - August 1992
Personal details
Alma materUniversity of Calcutta

Ranendra "Ronen" Sen (born 9 April 1944) is a veteran Indian diplomat who was India's ambassador to the United States of America from August, 2004 to March, 2009. His contribution to the landmark US India Nuclear deal is considered of immense importance [1]


Born to a Bengali family in Kolkata, on graduating from St. Xavier's College at the University of Calcutta, Sen joined the Indian Foreign Service in July, 1966. From 1968 to 1984, he served in Indian missions/posts as diverse as Moscow to San Francisco and from Dhaka to Auckland and also in the Ministry of External Affairs. He has also been Secretary to the Atomic Energy Commission of India.

From July, 1984 to December, 1985, Sen was Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. Thereafter, he was Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister of India from 1986 to July, 1991, responsible for Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Science and Technology.

Sen also served as India's ambassador to Mexico, from September,1991 to August,1992; Ambassador of India to Russia from October, 1992 to October, 1998; India's ambassador to Germany from October, 1998 to May, 2002, and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, from May, 2002 to April, 2004.

Mr. Sen has also participated in summit meetings in the United Nations, Commonwealth, Non-Aligned Movement, Six Nation Five Continent Peace Initiative, SAARC, International Atomic Energy Agency, G-15, and other forums, and also in over 160 bilateral summit meetings. On several occasions, he has also served as Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India.

Mr. Sen served as an Independent Director of Tata Motors, from 1 June 2010 till 2012. On 1 April 2015, Mr. Sen was appointed as a non-executive independent director on the board of Tata Sons, the promoter company of major companies in the Tata Group.[2]

Personal life

Sen is married to Kalpana, who was previously an airhostess with Indian Airlines. They have one daughter.


"Headless chicken" remark

In August 2007, Sen was issued notice (and subsequently censured) by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee to explain the "headless chicken" remark he was alleged to have made in an off-the-record interview published by on 20, August 2007, titled: "We will have zero credibility" on the Atomic Energy Pact. Sen had said:

It has been approved here (in Washington, DC) by the President, and there (in New Delhi) it's been approved by the Indian cabinet. So why do you have all this running around like a headless chicken, looking for a comment here or comment there, and these little storms in a tea-cup?[3]

Following the uproar over this remark, Sen later tendered his apology before the Parliamentary Privileges Committee. Sen clarified:

My comment about "running round like headless chicken looking for a comment here or comment there" was a tactless observation on some of my media friends, and most certainly not with reference to any Honourable Member of Parliament.[3]

The Lok Sabha Committee and the Rajya Sabha, panel decided to close the issue, since "Sen has tendered unconditional and sincere apologies".[3] The Rajya Sabha Committee said, in it report, tabled in the House:

In view of Sen's acceptance of having made the impugned remarks and that the same were unwarranted, and having tendered his unconditional apology, the Committee recommends that the matter should be allowed to rest here.

In its uncharacteristic[according to whom?] censure, the Rajya Sabha panel felt his remarks were:

not only in poor taste but also unwarranted... personal frame of mind should not have influenced public utterances of a senior and experienced diplomat... The Committee expects that such lapses, as admitted by him, shall not recur[3]


  1. ^ Gupta, Shekhar (2 November 2010). "The US made Headley, an undertrial, available to us. Which intelligence agency will do that?". The Indian Express. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Ronen Sen, Farida Khambata appointed directors of Tata Sons". NetIndian. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d PTI (26 November 2007). "Headless chicken comment: Ronen Sen let off the hook". Rediff. Retrieved 26 May 2018.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Lalit Mansingh
Indian Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Meera Shankar
Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Ronen Sen