Dr. Padinjarethalakal Cherian (P.C.) Alexander was born in Kerala and studied History and Economics at the Travancore and Annamalai Universities. He joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1948 and rose to be Secretary, Foreign Trade and Commerce Secretary, after holding several important positions. He was trained at the Board of Trade, U.K. under a Nuffield Foundation Fellowship and was a research fellow at the Stanford Research Institute, California under a Ford Foundation Fellowship.
Dr. Alexander was serving the International Trade Center (UNCTAD-GATT) at Geneva when he was invited by Indira Gandhi in 1981 to join her Secretariat as her Principal Secretary. After Indira Gandhiís death, he continued to work with Rajiv Gandhi in the same capacity. He later served as High Commissioner for India in the U.K. (1985-88) and as Governor to Tamil Nadu during 1988-90.
Dr. Alexander is the author of three other books-The Dutch in Malabar, Buddhism in Kerala and Industrial Estates in India.