Professor Emil Salim graduated from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Indonesia in 1959. He obtained a PhD degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and returned to Indonesia to a teaching position at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Indonesia since 1964.
Professor Salim has held a number of government positions since late 1960s, including member of the team of economic advisers to President Suharto, Chairman of the technical team of the Council for Economic Stability and Vice Chairman of Bappenas (the National Development Planning Agency). He became Cabinet Minister of the same President (1971-1993) with four different portfolio: Sate Apparatus, Transportation, Development Planning, and the Environment. He served as Advisory Council of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2007-2014).
He is the founder and the first chair of Kehati Foundation, chaired the Foundation for Sustainable Development, and co-chaired the United States-Indonesia Society. Professor Salim is member of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences.