Born on 1 June 1978 in Odisha, Nikhilesh Giri obtained his Master's degree in Geology from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. He was briefly a student at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi before joining the Indian Foreign Service in 2002.
His first posting was in Egypt from 2004 to 2006, where he learnt Arabic at the American University in Cairo. Between 2006 and 2009, he was posted as Second Secretary (Political, Economic & Information) in Embassy of India, Muscat. He then returned to New Delhi for a two-year stint as Under Secretary/ Deputy Secretary dealing with India's relations with Russia. During 2011-2015, he served in Embassy of India and later in the Indian Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta as First Secretary/ Counsellor. From 2015 to 2018, he was India's Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia.
Upon return to New Delhi in early 2018, he worked as Director in the Indo-Pacific Division. He assumed charge as Joint Secretary of the West Asia & North Africa Division in December of that year and continued in the position till his appointment as Consul General of India in Osaka-Kobe.
He has attended training programmes on leadership and management at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; George Washington University, Washington DC; and Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, MA.
He is married to Jayanti Giri and they have a son and a daughter.