Shri V. S. Sampath, the Chief Election Commissioner of India, has over four decades of leadership experience in administration diverse social and economic posts with the Union and State Governments of India.
A member of the prestigious Indian Administrative Service cadre from 1973, Mr. Sampath brings a unique blend of leading large organizations through periods of change and economic reform, with the experience of handling sensitive administrative functions through India's period of high growth.
In his early career in the state of Andhra Pradesh in the southern part of India, Shri Sampath was the administrative head (District Collector) of large Indian districts between 1975 to 1986. This stint, apart from giving him a strong grounding in public administration and policy implementation, also provided a good exposure to election organization at the grass root level. As the District Collector of several coastal districts, Shri Sampath led large teams in managing natural disasters and cyclone relief in rural areas, an experience that required execution abilities under extreme pressure and timelines.
Subsequently, Shri Sampath also led several state owned financial institutions and federations such as the Apex Co-operative Bank, Handloom Marketing Society, and Oil Seeds Federation in Food and Public Distribution Department, Industries Department and Finance Department between 1986 to 1989. This provided a strong footing in managing organizations and working towards realization of organizational goals in compressed timeframes.
Subsequently, between 1990 and 2004, Shri Sampath moved to the upper echelons of the state administration, wherein he held several challenging portfolios like Secretary in Agriculture Department and Principal Secretary in Energy Department.
His period as Principal Secretary Energy ushered in the first instance of large-scale power sector reforms in a large state like Andhra Pradesh, and enabling the opening up of the sector for the private sector investment in power sector. The work of the Energy department and the state administration in reforming the power sector has been internationally appreciated, and has demonstrated how effective governance and reforms could reduce AT&C losses and improve distribution efficiencies.
Subsequently, Shri Sampath then served as Principal Secretary, Finance wherein he handled the state finances of Andhra Pradesh, a state with an annual budget of over Rs. 51,000 crores (or $8 billion) and a population of over 80 million.
In the past few years Shri Sampath held several important postings in Central Government. Starting with a stint in the Union Ministry of Rural Development. In 2005, Shri Sampath was appointed as Director General, National Institute of Rural Development. Subsequently, he held the post of Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals where he was pivotal in conceptualizing and implementing the PCPIR policy to help the growth of the Petrochemical sector in India by facilitating massive investments in the identified Regions.
Later, he also served as Secretary, in the Central Power Ministry, where he was instrumental in implementing several forward-thinking policies to aid the sector. Among them was Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP), a mega-package for the renovation and modernization of Indian power utilities to help them improve their performance.
At the Election
Shri Sampath joined as Election Commissioner of India on 21st April, 2009, and oversaw the implementation of the Parliamentary Elections 2009. The 2009 elections are the largest exercise of adult franchise in the world, with an electorate of 714 million (more than the electorate of the European Union and USA combined), and Shri Sampath, as a member of the three member commission, was also instrumental in its successful implementation.
Subsequently, Shri Sampath was also instrumental in conducting important State Elections in the Major States of Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh during the last three years.
He assumed charge of Chief Election Commissioner of India on 11th June 2012.
Among his electoral priorities, Shri Sampath rates as his top priorities the voter enrollment, increase in voter turnout and electoral reforms.