Jyotindra Nath Dixit (8 January 1936 – 3 January 2005) was an Indian diplomat, who as served as Foreign Secretary (1991–1994), the top bureaucrat in the Ministry of External Affairs. At the time of his death he was the National Security Adviser (India) to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and is most remembered for his role as a negotiator in disputes with Pakistan and China.
Born in Chennai, then known as Madras, to famous Malayali writer Munshi Paramu Pillai and Retnamayi Devi. He got his surname, Dixit, from his stepfather Sitaram Dixit, a freedom fighter and journalist.
He did his schooling in Central India, Rajasthan and Delhi. thereafter he did BA Honours Degree in Philosophy, Economics and Political Science the Zakir Husain College (University of Delhi) (1952 Batch), then he did his Master’s in International Law and International Relations from Delhi University, and pursued studies for Doctoral Degree at the Indian School of International Studies, now part of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1958, and served in Vienna, Austria, became India’s first Ambassador to Bangladesh (1971–74) after its liberation. Subsequently, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassies in Tokyo and Washington, followed by Ambassador in Chile, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Afghanistan (1980–85); High Commissioner Sri Lanka (1985–89) and Pakistan (1989–91). Was Chief administrator of Indian aid in Bhutan.
He later served as the Indian Foreign Secretary from 1991 and ultimately retired from Government service in 1994. He was also a representative of India to the UN, UNIDO, UNESCO, ILO and Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). He was a member of the first National Security Advisery Board, He was also the author of several books. He was the High Commissioner in Colombo in 1987 when India signed an accord with Sri Lanka government and deployed of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to the Tamil area in the island nation at the height of ethnic crisis.
He succeeded to the post of the National Security Adviser in 2004.And his columns on international and regional affairs, appeared regularly in various publications including Outlook and Indian Express, and remained a visiting lecturer at many educational institutions.
J N Dixit, died on 3 January 2005, in New Delhi, after suffering a heart attack. He was married to Vijaya Lakshmi Dixit (née Sundaram) and had several children. He was the first National Security Adviser who died in office.