Ms. Shailaja Chandra’s has been a member of the Indian Administrative Service and her last two appointments were as permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry and later as Chief Secretary, Delhi - the only woman to have held this position. Having worked in the central Ministries of Defence, Power and Health and the governments of Delhi, Manipur, Goa and the Andaman & Nicobar islands she brings a width of cross-cutting experience involving both policy making and citizens issues.
In Health Ministry for 7 years continuously she handled the budgets and proposals needing Government approval concerning AIIMS, PGI, Chandigarh, ICMR, NIMHANS and the erstwhile MCI. As Chief Secretary Delhi she was Chairman of the Governing Bodies of the Liver & Biliary Institute, the Institute for Human Behaviour, & Allied Sciences and ex-officio Chairman of the Indraprastha Apollo hospital board.
Post – retirement she has been Chairman of the Pubic Grievances Commission and later the first Executive Director of the National Population Stabilisation Fund, Chairman of the Governing Bodies of two renowned Delhi University colleges, Chairman of the Delhi Library Board under the Ministry of Culture and has been associated with the management of 3 apex level NGOs. From 2018 to 2021, she was appointed by the National Green Tribunal to monitor the abatement of pollution in the River Yamuna and the completion of 10 biodiversity projects for rejuvenating the river.
Since 2012 she has also been an independent director on the Boards of several Indian Companies.
Shailaja is a prolific writer having written an anthology of articles, authored 2 Reports commissioned by the Health Ministry and the Delhi Government, published articles in peer reviewed journals and contributed book chapters as requested by OECD and the WHO.She continues to write OPEDs on public policy.
The Institute of Advanced Studies at Nantes, France and the Shiv Nadar University awarded her two prestigious academic fellowships. In 2021, she was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the Trans Disciplinary University in Bengaluru.