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Distinguished Speaker Series - Anish Goel, Ph.D. - "India in South Asia: Fraught Regional Relationships"

  • May 13, 2021
  • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Zoom

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The San Diego World Affairs Council presents the
"Distinguished Speaker" Series


Senior Analyst, U.S. Department of Defense 


India in South Asia: Fraught Regional Relationships 

Thursday, 13th May 2021 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. (PST) 

India, although it has been in the news for the wrong reasons -- a shockingly devastating surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths -- remains a rising power.  As the world's second most populous country and its largest democracy with an increasingly capable military and ever-growing links to the U.S., Japan, Australia and other like-minded countries, India is vitally important to the United States.  India also lives in a difficult region, with China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar among its challenging neighbors. Dr. Anish Goel will address these challenges in a presentation he calls "India in South Asia: Fraught Regional Relationships." 

About the Speaker

Dr. Goel has been an important contributor to U.S. policy toward India and South Asia in both Democratic and Republican administrations in recent years.  His rise to prominence in Washington foreign policy circles in the first decade of this century was meteoric.  Coming to the State Department's Bureau of South Asian Affairs in 2003 as a science fellow with a Ph.D in chemical engineering from MIT, his abilities were quickly recognized.  Within the first year of his fellowship his portfolio was broadened from scientific matters to national security policy, including nuclear policy. Dr. Goel became an integral part of the U.S. team meeting both in Washington and New Delhi with senior Indian government officials to negotiate what became the historic U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, which paved the way for the improved relations between the two countries we see today. He drafted many of the strategy papers and briefing memos that contributed to the success of the initiative.    

His work in this sensitive area brought Anish to the attention of senior U.S. Government officials not only in the State Department but also the White House. In 2008 he was asked to join the National Security Council staff as Director and subsequently Senior Director for South Asia, a position that made him the senior-most advisor to President George W. Bush on South Asia. Anish was then asked to stay on in that capacity, with the title of Senior Advisor to the President, in the Obama administration. Working for President Obama, Anish was responsible for preparations for the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington in December 2009 and Obama's four-day visit to India in November 2010, which was widely recognized as the most successful presidential visit to India in U.S. history. 

After leaving government, Dr. Goel went to work for Boeing in Seattle for a number of years, returning to Washington to work directly for the late Sen. John McCain as the senior professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Service for strategy and policy in East Asia and South Asia, as well as for defense science, technology and R&D issues.  After three years in that position (and the passing of Sen. McCain) Anish became a fellow at the New America think tank, before rejoining government again at the Pentagon's in-house think tank, where he currently serves, helping to develop policy and strategy for the Department of Defense. He has published articles widely for the likes of the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, CNN, Foreign Policy and the Hindustan Times.

Anish earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. 


Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC)

PO Box 34010

San Diego, CA 92163


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