Professor Dr Hasjim Djalal was born on 25 February 1934, in West Sumatra, obtained a BA degree from Indonesian Academy for Foreign Service in Jakarta (1956), MA (1959) and PhD (1961), both from the University of Virginia. He graduated from the Indonesian National Defense Institute (LEMHANNAS) in 1971.
He was Director of Treaty and Legal Affairs of the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs (1976-1979) and Director General for Policy Planning (1985-1990). He has served at the Indonesian Embassies in Belgrade, Guinea (Africa), Singapore, Washington DC. and Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN in New York (1981-1983), Ambassador to Canada (1983-1985), Germany (1990-1993) and Ambassador at-large for the Law of the Sea and Maritime Affairs (1994-2000).
He participated fully in the Third UN Law of the Sea Conference (1973-1982) and in its implementation thereafter, as well as in other maritime activities, nationally, regionally and internationally until now.
Currently, he is a member of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences (AIPI), Indonesian Maritime Council, Senior Advisor to the Indonesian Minister for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and to Indonesian Naval Chief of Staff, and lectures at universities and other high learning institutions in Indonesia.
He has published numerous articles and three books on the Law of the Sea and Regional issues.
He has received various awards, commendations and decorations for various services to his country, including Bintang Mahaputera Utama, the highest honour that can be bestowed by the Republic of Indonesia.