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Please join the Future of Diplomacy Project, the Center for Public Leadership, and the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University for a conversation with Shivshankar Menon, former National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary of India, about his new book on India’s foreign policy entitled India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present. Mr. Menon will discuss India’s historical responses to the rise of China, in addition to other regional powers as well as analyze how India’s policies are likely to evolve in the future to address current and new challenges. Faculty Chair, Nicholas Burns will moderate this discussion.

RSVP to attend.


Mr Shivshankar Menon is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington.

Mr Menon served as national security advisor to the Prime Minister of India from January 2010 to May 2014 and as Foreign Secretary of India from October 2006 to August 2009. A career diplomat, he has served as Ambassador or High Commissioner of India to Israel (1995-1997), Sri Lanka (1997-2000), China (2000-2003), and Pakistan (2003-2006). He was a member of India’s Atomic Energy Commission from 2008-2014. Mr Menon has also served in India’s missions to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and in the Department of Atomic Energy in Mumbai.

Mr Menon has been a Richard Wilhelm Fellow at MIT and Fisher Family Fellow at Harvard University in 2015. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Society Policy Studies Institute in New York.

In 2010, Mr Menon was chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world’s top 100 Global Thinkers.

Mr Menon studied at the Scindia School, Gwalior and St. Stephens College, Delhi University, where he studied ancient Indian history and Chinese.


India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present

A clear-eyed look at modern India’s role in Asia’s and the broader world

One of India’s most distinguished foreign policy thinkers addresses the many questions facing India as it seeks to find its way in the increasingly complex world of Asian geopolitics. A former Indian foreign secretary and national security adviser, Shivshankar Menon traces India’s approach to the shifting regional landscape since its independence in 1947. From its leading role in the “nonaligned” movement during the cold war to its current status as a perceived counterweight to China, India often has been an after-thought for global leaders—until they realize how much they needed it.

Examining India’s own policy choices throughout its history, Menon focuses in particular on India’s responses to the rise of China, as well as other regional powers. Menon also looks to the future and analyzes how India’s policies are likely to evolve in response to current and new challenges.

As India grows economically and gains new stature across the globe, both its domestic preoccupations and international choices become more significant. India itself will become more affected by what happens in the world around it. Menon makes a powerful geopolitical case for an India increasingly and positively engaged in Asia and the broader world in pursuit of a pluralistic, open, and inclusive world order.