KPMG India chairman and chief executive officer Arun M. Kumar has been elected as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, KPMG International announced March 26.
The Indian American executive formerly served as a top U.S. commercial diplomat in the Obama Administration in the role of assistant secretary of commerce for global markets and director general of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, where he led the trade and investment promotion efforts for the U.S. Government, the global firm said in a news release.
“I am honored to join the Council of Foreign Relations. The work of the CFR is more relevant than ever before, especially in Asia and the part of the world where I now live,” Kumar said in a statement. “I look forward to working with other members of the CFR to foster leading ideas and conversations around vital strategic foreign policy and business issues in the Indo-Pacific corridor."
Before his tenure in public service, Kumar was a partner and member of the board of directors at KPMG in the United States, serving a plethora of clients as well as emerging Silicon Valley ventures, it said.
“We take pride in Arun's election as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which has been an influential voice in international relations not just in the United States, but across the globe. I'm confident that with his global business and diplomatic experience, Arun will add immense value to the CFR,” Bill Thomas, global chairman of KPMG International, said in a statement.
The Council on Foreign Relations comprises some of the most respected global leaders and people from across the fields of government, business, education and journalism.
The council aims to offer a balanced and nuanced study of foreign policy globally. Its bi-monthly journal, Foreign Affairs, and its David Rockefeller Studies Program, have contributed to foreign policy thinking in the United States by making recommendations to the Administration, as well as to the diplomatic and international relations community, according to the release.
Earlier in his career, Kumar was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, founding CEO and CFO of three technology ventures. Over the years, he has been a mentor and advisor to a number of new ventures in Silicon Valley and India.
Kumar has been a member of advisory councils at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. An early Charter Member of TiE Silicon Valley, he also served on its Board, apart from being on the Board of Directors of the U.S. India Business Council, according to his bio.
Kumar has authored a book of poetry, Plain Truths (2010), and co-edited a book, Kerala’s Economy: Crouching Tiger, Sacred Cows (2007).
He received his master’s degree in management from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Kerala in India. He started his career in India as a member of TAS, the central management cadre of the Tata Group.