Ronen Sen

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Ronen Sen

Ranendra "Ronen" Sen (born April 9, 1944) 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]


After 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 in Moscow, San Francisco, and in Dhaka, and 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 June 1, 2010 till 2012. On April 1, 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[edit]

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


"Headless chicken" remark[edit]

In August 2007, Sen was issued notice (and subsequently censured) by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee to explain the "headless chicken" remark he is alleged to have made in an off-the-record interview, which was 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 headless chicken, looking for a comment here or comment there, and these little storms in a tea-cup?"

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.""

The Rajya Sabha panel decided to close the issue, since "Sen has tendered unconditional and sincere apologies". "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," the Rajya Sabha Committee said, in its report, tabled in the House.

In its uncharacteristic 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. ^ ‘The US made Headley, an undertrial, available to us. Which intelligence agency will do that?’
  2. ^ "Ronen Sen, Farida Khambata appointed directors of Tata Sons". NetIndian. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Press release of Press Trust of India (a Government of India body) published by at

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Lalit Mansingh
Indian Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Meera Shankar