Syed Akbaruddin was born in Kerala on 27 April 1960. His father Professor Syed Bashir Uddin, was formerly the head of the department of Journalism and Communication at Osmania University, then served as Indian ambassador to Qatar. His mother Dr. Zeba Bashir Uddin was a professor in the English department at Sri Sathya Sai University, Prasanthi Nilayam campus.
He attended the Hyderabad Public school in Begumpet Hyderabad. He graduated from Nizam College in Hyderabad and did hid masters in Political Science and International Relations from Hyderabad Central University, Hyderabad. He is a 1985 batch Indian Foreign Service officer.
In a distinguished career span of 34 years Syed Akbaruddin served in different capacities in India and abroad. He started his first foreign assignment in Cairo where he also learnt Arabic language.
He also successfully served in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, and Jeddah from 1988 to 2004 as counsel-general of India and he was recognised as an expert on West Asia issues in India. He was the director at the Foreign Secretary’s Office of the Ministry from 2004 to 2005. At the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, he was on deputation for four years and returned to India in 2011. Akbaruddin was the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India from January 2012 to April 2015. He headed the External Publicity and Public Diplomacy division of the Ministry of External Affairs in the capacity of Joint Secretary to Government of India. He was also the chief coordinator for the India-Africa Summit in October 2015. He was later Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (India) from April 2015 to September 2015. In November 2015, Akbaruddin was appointed as India’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.
Akbaruddin has been praised in India and abroad for his exceptional skills at multilateral forums protecting India’s interest and setting new standards of multilateral diplomacy. His work at the United Nations against terrorism, climate change and towards international peace has been highly applauded. His effort for blacklisting of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council has also been recognized. The inauguration of the 50-kilowatt ‘Gandhi Solar Park’ at UN by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi was pioneered by Akbaruddin.