Irfan Nooruddin

The Atlantic Council recently announced that Georgetown University professor and director of the school’s India Initiative Irfan Nooruddin was named as the new head of its South Asia Center. ( photo)

The Atlantic Council recently announced that Georgetown University professor and director of the school’s India Initiative Irfan Nooruddin was named as the new head of its South Asia Center.

“South Asia is rich with innovative economies, diverse cultures, and complex politics, making it a region of critical importance to American strategic and commercial interests in the twenty-first century,” Nooruddin said in a statement. “The Atlantic Council can play an important role in helping the United States forge a productive relationship with South Asia, and I am proud to help do so as the new director of its South Asia Center.”

The Indian American academic will remain a professor at Georgetown University and continue to direct its India Initiative, a university-wide project that advances research and teaching around India and its role in world affairs and creates a platform for high-level dialogue among American and Indian leaders from government, business, civil society, and the academy, according to the Council news release.

Prior to his time at Georgetown, Nooruddin was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and a team member with Lokniti: Program on Comparative Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi.

He is the author of Elections in Hard Times: Building Stronger Democracies in the 21st Century (with T.E. Flores, Cambridge, 2016) and Coalition Politics and Economic Development: Credibility and the Strength of Weak Governments (Cambridge, 2011).

Nooruddin holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s in economics and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.

“In Irfan, we are adding to our leadership team a proven institution-builder and an impressive, widely published intellect to the Council,” said Atlantic Council president and CEO Frederick Kempe.

“He combines rigorous scholarship with a policy entrepreneur’s vision on how to address a region that is at the same time one of the most promising and most perilous in the world,” Kempe added.

Nooruddin, who moved to the U.S. in 1992 from Mumbai, according to the Economic Times, fills the position vacated earlier this year by Bharath Gopalaswamy, who will remain active with the Atlantic Council as a non-resident senior Fellow.

The South Asia Center is the Atlantic Council's focal point for work on greater South Asia. Through partnerships with key institutions in the region, the Atlantic Council facilitates dialogue among decision-makers in South Asia, the United States and Europe with the aiming of “waging peace” and securing democracy and prosperity in the region.

These deliberations cover internal and external security, governance, trade, economic development, education, climate sustainability and resilience, and other issues, according to the release.

The center is committed to working with stakeholders from South Asia in addition to partners and experts in the United States and Europe, to offer comprehensive analyses and practicable recommendations for policymakers, it said.

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