Ambassador Sumith Nakandala
Secretary General of BIMSTEC
Ambassador Sumith Nakandala holds a B.Sc [Agriculture] Degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and Masters Degree in International Relations and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, the Netherlands.
Before, entering into the Sri Lankan Foreign Services, Ambassador Nakandala was working in the Sri Lanka Department of Agriculture and the Central Environmental Authority as a Research Officer and Environmental Officer respectively.
Ambassador Nakandala in 1988, having entered into the Sri lanka Foreign Service through open competitive examination, had worked in different Divisions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo. His overseas assignments include posting in Male, Maldives, New Delhi and Chennai, India, London and New York.
Ambassador Nakandala was the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Nepal and Iraq. He also held the posts of Deputy High Commissioner at the Ambassadorial level in Chennai and London.
Ambassador Nakandala was the First Director of the Technical Cooperation Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka where he conducted 11 major training programmes in 2000-2001 for middle level officers from Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia.
Apart from the official engagements, Ambassador Nakandala was instrumental in developing Migration Health policy for Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s Road Map for Energy Security. He was also a Member in the International Partnership Committee of the National Science Foundation and in the Committee on Genetic Resources at the Sri Lanka Council on Agricultural Research Policy. Ambassador Nakandala is an Editorial Board Member of South Asian Affairs Journal in Vishakapatnam, India.
Ambassador Nakandala has been a frequent contributor to South Asian Economic Summit, World Energy Policy Summit and number of International and Regional Conferences.
Apart from his South Asian bilateral experience for more than 20 years, Ambassador Nakandala had also dealt extensively with regional organizations such as SAARC, BIMSTEC, IORA, ACD, G-15, ESCAP, AMED, WIPO while working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka.
In 2012, Ambassador Nakandala was nominated as the First Secretary General of BIMSTEC and he assumed the charge of the Secretary General on 10 August 2014.
Ambassador Nakandala’s academic and research interests are on Agriculture, Foreign Policies in South Asia, Regional Economic Integration, India Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology, Energy Security, Migration, Nationalism and Archeology. Ambassador Nakandala is married with three daughters.
S.M. Nazmul Hasan
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation
Mr. S.M. Nazmul Hasan joined Bangladesh Foreign Service in January 2004. From 2004 to 2006, he worked at different desks in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh in the capacity of Assistant Secretary. From 2006 to 2008, he served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Bangladesh High Commission in Pretoria. From November 2008 to November 2013, he served at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Tehran as Second Secretary/First Secretary/Counsellor and Head of Chancery. Prior to joining as Director at the BIMSTEC Secretariat, he worked in the capacity of Director (Americas) and Deputy Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Hasan has unique experience in extending humanitarian activities abroad. He was instrumental in successful repatriation of about 33,000 expatriate Bangladeshis, in coordination with IOM, UNHCR, WFP, UN-OCHA, International NGOs and the Tunisian Government, from Tunisia during Libyan war in 2011. He also provided assistance and services to hundreds of victims of xenophobic attack in South Africa in 2008. He put a lot of efforts in curbing human trafficking and facilitated repatriation of hundreds of Bangladeshi victims from Iran. Mr. Hasan graduated from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh with B.Com (Honours), M.Com and MBA degrees in Marketing. He received professional trainings in Malaysia and the Netherlands. He attended a number of International Summit, Conferences and Seminars including the NAM Summit, IDB, OIC, ACD, IORA etc. as a Bangladesh delegate. He is married and blessed with two children.
Kunzang Namgyal Tshering
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Secretariat, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mr. Kunzang N. Tshering joined the Bhutanese Civil Service in 1983. Prior to joining the BIMSTEC, he served as the Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan from 2012 to 2016.
1983 to 2002, he served for the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) Secretariat in various capacities. 2002 to 2012, he was with the Local Governance System in Bhutan and held the position of Dzongdag (Commissioner/CEO) in four regions of the country. Bhutan is administratively divided into 2 regions known as Dzongkhags. As a Dzongdag, he was also the Member of the National Assembly of Bhutan, the highest Legislative Body in the Sate for two consecutive terms of 3 years from 2003, until the institution of the Parliamentary Democracy in early 2008. He also served as the Board of Director, Royal Institute of Management (RIM), Thimphu, a premier executive management institute in Bhutan, conducting regular courses for the cream of graduates selected on competitive basis to the join the Royal Civil Service, besides other executive courses, some at Master’s Level.
While heading the Local Government Administrations, he had an opportunity to serve as the Chief Election Coordinator for both the primary and general rounds of the first parliamentary elections in Bhutan in 2007 and 2008, besides coordinating and conducting a number of local government elections in the country. Beyond Bhutan, he worked as an-intern at the United Nation’s HQs in New York and Geneva in 1989 and with ILO Turin Center in Italy. Besides, he attended to a number of trainings in the Region, in Europe, Japan and the United States, the last one being the Advanced Security Course at Asia Pacific Center for Security Cooperation (APCSS) in Hawaii, where he is a Member of the Asia Pacific Security Cooperation now.
He has enriching knowledge about local governance and multiple first hand experiences on rural development initiatives. Having worked for over a decade in the local governance, comprising of both appointed and elected public officials, he had a unique exposure in balancing and harmonizing the two in building the rural economy through effective delivery of public services in the name of equity and justice. Having worked for so long at the grass-roots, he gained ample knowhow and skills to build schools, hospitals, agriculture extension centers, farm roads, bridges, irrigation channels, monasteries and to deal with the rural-urban migration, resettlements, rural environment, local culture, elections, heritage preservations, disasters and maintenance of law and order for happiness of the people & more importantly for the political stability of the nation as a whole & building Bhutan as One Nation, One People.
Mr. Tshering has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Punjab, Chandigarh, India and Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from the University of West Minister in London, UK. Beyond the box, he also participated in various National and International Submits, Conferences and high level delegations including the United Nations General Assembly in 2013.
As the Chief of Protocol, he had the privilege to coordinate a number of high level visits both within & outside the country & to accompany His Majesty the King of Bhutan during the Royal Visits abroad.
He is a recipient of the Coronation Silver Medal during the Coronation of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Fifth Monarch of the Kingdom of Bhutan in 2008 and received the Bhutan Civil Service Silver and Gold Medals in 2014 and 2015 respectively for 30 years of dedicated service to the nation.
At leisure, he loves to play any out-door games like archery, football and basketball in particular, but with the ageing, he intends to pick up on the all age sport of golfing with the golf lovers in Dhaka. Mr. Tshering is married with three children.
Director (INDIA), BIMSTEC
Mr. Pankaj Hazarika has joined on 1st June 2017 as the first Director from India in the BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat, Dhaka.
Mr. Hazarika joined the Indian Civil Service in September 2000. Prior to joining the Civil Service, he worked as design engineer in ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) Ltd in the power sector. He holds a B.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT) , Kurukshetra, India. He also did a 10 months certificate course in Financial Management from National Institute of Financial Management, Faridabad, India.
Mr. Hazarika had worked in different capacities in CGDA (Controller General of Defence Accounts) and its sub-offices under Ministry of Defence, Government of India. He was the Finance Officer of the Indian Brigade contingent deployed in UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo from January 2007 to January 2008.
Before joining BIMSTEC, Mr. Hazarika worked as Director in Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, North Block, New Delhi. He had also worked as Deputy Secretary in Department of Revenue and Deputy Secretary in Department of Expenditure in Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Mr. Hazarika, as Financial Adviser, had rendered financial advice to various units and formations under the Ministry of Defence. He also did appraisal of various Government of India projects/schemes besides examining high value acquisition cases. Mr Hazarika was also involved in formulation of various policy decisions/rules in Government of India in the domain of Finance. He is married and blessed with two children.