Mr Robb and Mr Dasgupta join the Institute after long and distinguished careers which have – in separate ways – greatly strengthened and enhanced relations between Australia and India.
Professor Craig Jeffrey, CEO and Director of the AII, said the Institute was delighted that both Mr Robb and Mr Dasgupta had accepted the board’s invitation to become Distinguished Fellows.
“These two eminent men bring to the Institute exceptional understanding and long experience of the Australia-India relationship. Their presence will add immeasurably to the Institute’s standing and effectiveness. We look forward to their valuable contributions to the AII.”
Mr Andrew Robb held the Federal seat of Goldstein for the Liberal Party from 2004 until his retirement from politics earlier this year.
Following the Coalition’s victory at the 2013 federal election, Mr Robb was appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Trade and Investment. In that role he oversaw successful negotiations for free-trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China. He was also instrumental in promoting the Australia–India FTA which is currently being finalised.
Mr Amit Dasgupta served India as a diplomat in a range of posts including Sydney, as Consul General (2009–12). He has been Ambassador to the Philippines and has held posts in Germany, Belgium, Egypt and Nepal. He also served as Director of Finance in India’s Ministry of External Affairs and was the first head of the Ministry’s Public Diplomacy Division.
He was recently appointed the inaugural India Country Director at the University of New South Wales.