Prem Shankar Jha

Prem Shankar Jha

Visiting Fellow, Harvard-China Project

Prem Shankar Jha, born 22 December 1938, in Patna, Bihar, was brought up in New Delhi and educated at The Doon School, Dehradun. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Delhi university and a Masters of Arts degree from the University of Oxford in philosophy, politics and economics at Magadalen College, Oxford.

In 1961, he joined the United Nations where he spent five years in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He spent two of these five years in New York as a special assistant to the managing director of the Special Fund, Paul G. Hoffman, who was the first administrator of the UNDP. The remaining three were spent in Damascus, Syria.

In 1966, Jha joined the Hindustan Times as an Assistant Editor, and in 1969 he moved to the Times of India. After brief stints as Acting Editor of the Economic Times (1979-80) and Editor of the Financial Express (1980-81), he returned to the Times of India as its Economic Editor. In 1986 he re-joined the Hindustan Times as its Editor.

Jha has been a consultant in the preparation of the World Bank’s 1978 World Development Report, and to the UN Centre for Human Settlements, Nairobi (Habitat) from 1984-85 and again in 1986. In 1980, he coauthored a manual for the Asia and Pacific Development Administration Center of the UN in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the management of public enterprises in developing countries.

From 1985-1987 he was also a member of the energy panel of the World Commission for Environment and Development, headed by Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway. In 1987, he received the "Energy Journalist of the Year" award from the Washington-based International Association for Energy Economics. In 1990 he served as the information advisor to the Prime Minister of India, V. P. Singh, until the fall of his goverment. Since then, he has been a columnist in some of India’s main papers, including The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, The Times of IndiaThe Business Standard and in the weekly newsmagazines Outlook and Tehelka. Jha is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy Environment. He has also been a visiting scholar/professor at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta; the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University; the Fairbank Centre for East Asian studies at Harvard University; and Nuffield College Oxford. He has taught at the Universities of Virginia and Richmond and at Sciences Po in Paris.

He is author of several books - view a full list here:

Contact Information

Pierce Hall 194, 29 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA

Research Interests