Reception Committee


Justice R. C. Lahoti
Hon. Former Chief Justice of India

Justice Ramesh Chandra Lahoti has served as the 35th Chief Justice of India. He is a renowned legal luminary and scholar who served one of the longest terms as Chief Justice of India in recent times, retiring from office after a 17-month long stint.


Prof. Ruud Lubbers
Hon. Former Prime Minister, Netherlands

Prof. Rudolphus Franciscus Marie ‘Ruud’ Lubbers served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands for over 10 years. He is a former economist and entrepreneur. The Dutch economy witnessed a successful turnaround after the recession in the 1980’s during his tenure. He holds the distinction of being both - the longest tenured and the youngest serving Prime Minister of the Netherlands. A reputed leader, he was granted the honorary title of Minister of State in 1995. He has also served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for over 4 years.


Mr. Lal Krishna Advani
Hon. Former Dy. Prime Minister, India

Mr. Lal Krishna Advani is a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), one of the principal political parties of India. During his lengthy political career, spanning over six decades, Mr. Advani has held important positions in the government such as Deputy Prime Minister of India and Minister of Home Affairs. He was also appointed Leader of Opposition twice in the Lok Sabha. In 2015, he was awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.

Dr. Karan Singh
Hon. Member of Parliament, India

Dr. Karan Singh is a member of the Rajya Sabha (or the Upper House) of the Indian Parliament. A senior member of the Indian National Congress Party, he has served as Sadr-i-Riyasat (or the Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir. Born in Cannes, France, he is the son of Maharaja Hari Singh, the last king of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Dr. Singh received the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award, in 2005.

Dr. Mahesh Sharma
Hon. Minister of Culture, India

Dr. Mahesh Sharma is the current Minister of State (independent charge) for Culture and Tourism and, MoS for the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India.

Mr. Hildebrando Tapia Samaniego
Hon. Congressman, Perúvian Congress,
Vice-President - Andean Parliament

Mr. Hildebrando Tapia Samaniego is an architect, entrepreneur and member of the Popular Christian Party. He was elected Congressman of the Republic of Peru for the period 2001 – 2006 from the National Renovation Party. He was also selected as the Vice-President of the Popular Christian Party in the last party elections.

Ms. Tatyana Poronova
Hon. Deputy Governor of Murmansk, Russia

Currently the Deputy Governor, Ms. Poronova headed the financial affairs of Murmansk under Governor Dmitriyenko. At one point in time, she was the only female minister in the regional administration as a whole, and one of only three women in the Governor’s team.

Mr. Hakubun Shimomura
Hon. Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan

Mr. Hakubun Shimomura is the member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature) and has served in the assembly of Tokyo for two terms since 1989. He was Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary in the first government of Shinzo Abe in 2006 and was again appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in 2012.

Ms. Nancy Pelosi
Hon. Congresswoman, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, United States of America

Ms. Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and has served as its 60th Speaker from 2007 to 2011. She is the only woman to have served as the House Speaker and to date is the highest-ranking female politician in American history. Pelosi is the first woman, the first Californian, and the first Italian-American to lead a major party in Congress.

Ms. Katherine Clark
Hon. Congresswoman, House of Representatives,
United States of America

Ms. Katherine Marlea Clark has served as the United States Representative for Massachusetts's 5th congressional district since 2013. She is a resident of Melrose, Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. She was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2008 to 2011, and a member of the Massachusetts Senate from 2011 to 2013.

Mr. Ed Whitfield
Hon. Congressman, House of Representatives,
United States of America

Mr. Wayne Edward “Ed” Whitfield was elected to Congress in 1994 as the first Republican to represent Kentucky's First Congressional District. He has also been a member of the Democratic Party from 1974-1994. He has helped create the first Medicare Prescription Drug benefit plan for seniors and is an active advocate for the humane treatment of animals.

Dr. Abdel Salam al-Majali
Hon. Former Prime Minister, Jordan

A physician and politician, His Excellency Dr. Abdel Salam al-Majali served twice as the Prime Minister of Jordan.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, Dr. Majali signed the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty. After his second term as Prime Minister, he was appointed to the Jordanian senate. He is currently the Chairman of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis
Hon. Former President, Lithuania
Member of the European Parliament

Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis was the first Head of State of Lithuania after its independence from the Soviet Union and has served as the Head of the Lithuanian Parliament, Seimas. He is a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism and a member of the International Advisory Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Prof. Alojz (Lojze) Peterle
Hon. Former Prime Minister, Slovenia
Member of the European Parliament

Prof. Alojz (Lojze) Peterle was the President of the first freely elected Slovenian government between 1990 and 1992. He was also the leader of the Slovene Christian Democrats from the inception of the party in 1990 until the time it merged with the Slovenian People’s Party in 2000. Presently a member of the European Parliament, he has also served as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for European Affairs.

Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
Hon. 9th Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

A Turkish academic, politician, and diplomat, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from 2004 to 2014. Founder of the Department of History of Science at the Faculty of Letters at Istanbul University, Prof. Ihsanoglu is an author and editor of academic journals and an advocate of intercultural dialogue. He was also one of the signatories of ‘A Common Word’, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding.

Mr. Jo Leinen
Hon. Member of the European Parliament

Mr. Jo Leinen, a lawyer by profession, currently serves as a Member of the European Parliament and represents Germany. Well known for his support for a Federal Europe, he acts as a representative within the Party of European Socialists group.

Mr. Nirj Deva
Hon. Member of the European Parliament

A member of the Conservative Party, Mr. Nirj Deva has been representing South East England in the European Parliament since 1999. He was the fourth Asian-born person to be elected a Member of the House of Commons and was the first Asian-born person to be elected as a Conservative member of the European Parliament.

Mr. Kapil Mishra
Hon. Minister of Culture, Delhi, India

Mr. Kapil Mishra is a well-known political activist and public policy campaigner. An MLA in the Sixth Legislative Assembly of the Delhi government, he holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Delhi School of Social Work.