Parameswaran Iyer serves as Executive Director at the World Bank Group representing Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Sri Lanka. Mr Iyer was the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, India’s National Think Tank, from July 2022 till February 2023. During this period, he started key initiatives, including the flagship State Support Mission and the Aspirational Block Program, and accelerated the implementation of the USD 25 billion Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, aimed at creating global manufacturing champions in India.
Mr. Iyer is a member of the Indian Administrative Service and has worked in senior management roles in both the Government of India and the State of Uttar Pradesh for over 23 years. He also worked in technical and managerial capacities in the World Bank for 15 years, including as Manager for Water in South Asia. Between 2016–20, he served as the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in New Delhi and led the implementation of India’s flagship $20 billion Swachh Bharat Mission, which delivered access to safe sanitation to 550 million people. During this period, he also led the design of India’s flagship Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and kickstarted its implementation. The JJM will provide 190 million household tap connections during the period 2019 – 2024.
A well-known water and sanitation expert, Mr Iyer has over 25 years of experience in the sector, having worked in several countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China, Egypt and Lebanon. In India, he headed the innovative community led Swajal Project in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the 1990s. The Swajal Project became one of the world’s leading rural water projects pioneering decentralized service delivery, and key lessons from it were scaled up both nationally and internationally.
Mr Iyer did his bachelor’s degree from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University and MBA from the National Management Programme, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. He has authored two books: Method in the Madness: Insights from My Career as an Insider-Outsider-Insider (Harper Collins: 2021) and The Swachh Bharat Revolution: Four Pillars of India's Behavioural Transformation (Harper Collins: 2019). He is also a regular contributor to leading newspapers in India, reflecting on issues related to economic growth and inclusive development.