Ronak D. Desai is Vice Chair of the India practice at a prominent international law firm based in Washington D.C. A recognized scholar and practitioner in the fields of law and foreign policy, his work focuses on U.S.-India relations, diaspora politics, anti-corruption, and global governance.
Ronak advises clients on a broad range of complex investigative, regulatory, litigation, compliance, and public policy matters. He has extensive legal and policy experience in the public and private sectors. From 2014-2016, he served as the Democratic Counsel to the Select Committee on Benghazi in the United States Congress. His previous Capitol Hill experience also includes his time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.
In 2006, Ronak was part of efforts to help secure Congressional approval for the landmark U.S.-India civilian nuclear deal, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush that same year. He routinely advises Members of Congress on legal and foreign policy issues, particularly pertaining to South Asia.
Ronak is a Law & Security Fellow at New America, a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project, and an Asia 21 Leader at the Asia Society. He serves as General Counsel and Board Director to the Partnership for a Secure America, a bipartisan foreign policy think tank.
In 2016, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed Ronak to her Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He also teaches a popular course on U.S. foreign policy toward South Asia at the Johns Hopkins University. He is a regular contributor to a host of leading publications in both the United States and the Asia Pacific, including Forbes. From 2013-2017, Ronak was an Affiliate at the Belfer Center’s India and South Asia Program at Harvard University.
Ronak earned his undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University, and joint public policy and law degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School, from which he graduated magna cum laude.
He can be reached at Ronak.Desai@post.harvard.edu.