J. P. Rai is a former IAS officer of the 1983 batch. He has had a long career spanning over 38 years, including in banking, the civil services and the private sector. After six years in the State Bank of India, he joined the Indian Administrative Service, Madhya Pradesh cadre, in 1983. This period also saw him serving with the United Nations Transitional Authority for Cambodia as an electoral expert during the UN supervised elections in 1993. In 1997, he resigned from the IAS to join the private sector. His work in the private sector was in leadership positions in major infrastructure projects, including India's first private sector port, LNG project and modern shipyard. In January 2012, he returned to the Government to work as Executive Director, Prime Minister's National Council on Skill Development in the Office of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Skill development. After the Council was subsumed in the National Skill Development Agency in June 2013, he assumed the charge of Director General of National Skill Development Agency, and he continued to serve in that position till 13th Apr 2015. The National Skills Qualification Framework was developed under his leadership. From June 2015 till October 2016, he worked with one of the largest corporate groups in India as Special Advisor helping the group prepare its corporate strategy for the next five years.