Mr. Ashok Lavasa assumed charge as Election Commissioner of India on 23rd January, 2018. He is a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Haryana cadre (Batch 1980). Prior to his appointment as Election Commissioner of India, Mr. Lavasa retired on superannuation as Union Finance Secretary on 31st October 2017. Prior to being the Finance Secretary of India, he served as Union Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change & Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Mr. Lavasa has rich leadership experience of active service over 37 years. He is known for his contribution to good governance and policy reform initiatives that have been taken during his tenure of active service in Government of India and the State. He has a varied experience of international negotiations having led the Indian team during the PARIS AGREEMENT on Climate Change in December, 2015 besides the Montreal Protocol, the Conventions on Biodiversity and Desertification. As Joint Secretary, Economic Affairs, he carried out negotiations for setting up the Financial Action Task Force and for availing more than a dozen Development Loans with Asian Development Bank.
He was Finance Secretary, when GST was introduced, the Railway Budget was merged with General Budget, the Plan-Non Plan distinction was done away with, the date of Budget presentation was advanced by 4 weeks and the General Financial Rules were revised. As Environment Secretary he initiated far reaching and wide ranging policy and procedural reforms that brought about perceptible administrative efficiency in environmental regulation.
Earlier, he was Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Economic Affairs (Ministry of Finance). In the State he was Principal Secretary, Renewable Energy Sources, Power, Chief Coordinator (Industries), Resident Commissioner of Haryana, Managing Director of Haryana State Federation of Co-operative Sugar Mills limited, Managing Director, State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation, Tourism Corporation, Director, Industries and Director, Public Relations and Registrar of Kurukshetra University. Before joining the IAS, he taught in Delhi University as a lecturer from August 1978 to December 1979 and worked as Probationary Officer in State Bank of India from December 1979 to July 1980.
Born on 21st October 1957, he did his graduation, BA (English Honours) and MA in English from Delhi University. He also has an MBA degree from Southern Cross University, New South Wales and M.Phil (Defence and Strategic Studies).
Mr. Lavasa is an avid photographer and has held several exhibitions of his photographs in different cities. He has keen interest in adventure activities such as trekking, river rafting and parasailing and sports such as tennis, cricket and swimming. He has also authored a book 'AN UNCIVIL SERVANT', published by Rupa in 2006.