Lakshmi Puri

Assistant Secretary General – United Nations; Deputy – U.N. Women


Lakshmi Puri is the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality.

Throughout her career, she has focused on women’s empowerment and rights, and lead the implementation of UN-wide accountability for gender equality. After joining the UN Women senior leadership team in 2011, she positioned the organization as a key player on the global stage and helmed its involvement with the Rio+20 Conference and Commission on the Status of Women.

Prior to her work with the United Nations, Ms. Puri completed a 28-year career as Permanent Secretary of the Government of India with the Indian Foreign Service. She was also a delegate to the Commission on Human Rights in 1981 and worked with UN special agencies and the World Trade Organization.

Ms. Puri has a bachelor of arts from Delhi University, a postgraduate degree from Punjab University and several professional diplomas in history, public policy and administration, international relations and law, and economic development.