Ashoka Rastogi was born in 1945 in Budaun (Uttar Pradesh) in a middle class family. He received his schooling in various cities where his father was posted and completed his postgraduate studies in Western History from Lucknow University. He joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1968 and served in Tamil Nadu to begin with. During his long and distinguished career‚ he held various positions in the State and in the Federal Government.
Besides working in the fields of agriculture‚ rural development‚ industry‚ public sector‚ maritime transport‚ federal relations and disaster management‚ he was also responsible for initiating affirmative action in favour of minorities and disadvantaged groups and communities. He successfully managed relief and recovery in the aftermath of the calamitous Tsunami of December 2004. Retiring as Secretary‚ Government of India in March 2005‚ he was later drafted on the Task Force to review the performance of Public Sector Undertakings and Central Government ministries as also to work on the Board of a few companies.
He divides his time between Gurgaon‚ Allahabad‚ Dubai and USA.