Economist Dr Rajiv Kumar was on 05 August 2017 named as the new vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, five days after the incumbent Arvind Panagariya announced that he would quit to return to academics. The government also appointed Dr Vinod Paul, a pediatrician at the AIIMS, as a member of the NITI Aayog, an official spokesperson said. Kumar, who holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University, is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). Earlier, he was Secretary General of the FICCI and had also served as Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).
He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008. He has also served as the chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and held senior positions in the the Asian Development Bank, the Indian Ministry of Industries, and the Ministry of Finance.