Pawan Agarwal is currently the CEO, Food Safety & Standards Authority of India and Secretary to Govt. of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. He is an IAS Officer of 1985 from West Bengal Cadre. He has been the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in the Govt. of India. Earlier, he was the Adviser, Higher Education and Culture in the Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog). He has also worked as Director in the Ministry of HRD and Financial Advisor, University Grants Commission.
He has been Fulbright New Century Scholar at Harvard University / Emory University, visiting scholar and fellow at ICRIER, New Delhi and the Centre for the Study of Higher Education and the Australia India Institute in University of Melbourne.
He has published on a range of higher education issues in India and comparative perspective in the South Asian context. His book ‘Indian Higher Education: Envisioning the Future’ published by Sage in 2009 is an authoritative and well-regarded book on India’s higher education system. Recently, he has edited a book, ‘A Half-Century of Indian Higher Education: Essays by Philip G. Altbach’ published by Sage in 2012.