Indian American Ashley Tellis to head Tata Chair at Carnegie Endowment

Ashley Tellis

A leading think-tank in Washington, D.C. has established a chair for strategic studies, Tata Chair, named after the leader of one of India’s premier business houses.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced today, the establishment of the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs in recognition of Ratan N. Tata’s leadership on Carnegie’s Board of Trustees.

“Ratan Tata has made a distinctive mark in India and around the world by leading Indian industry beyond its national borders to create a global brand, emphasizing innovation as the hallmark of commercial success, contributing to U.S.-India ties, and undertaking philanthropy empathetic to people across societies,” CEIP said in an April 18 press release.

Senior Fellow Ashley J. Tellis, a leading Indian-American expert in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues, is the inaugural chair. Tellis previously served as a senior adviser in the U.S. State Department in Washington, at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, and on the U.S. National Security Council, where he was a special assistant to President George W. Bush and senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Tellis said he was honored and that his relationship with Tata goes back many decades.

“Over thirty years ago, I was privileged to work on J.R.D. Tata’s papers for Keynote, a commemoration of his lifetime of service. I was later supported by the Tata Trusts as I embarked on my immigrant journey to the United States. To now hold the Tata Chair at Carnegie is to come full circle,” Tellis said.

“There is no one more deserving of the Tata Chair than Ashley Tellis—an extraordinary scholar and colleague who has made profound contributions in his field, in the public arena, and at Carnegie,” Carnegie President William J. Burns said.

The Chair’s work will focus on pressing international security challenges of the emerging world order, especially on U.S. foreign policy in Asia and the Indian subcontinent, the CEIP said.

“The one strategic goal of countries that must precede all others is to bring prosperity to their people,” Tata is quoted saying in the release. “This can be achieved only when nations feel secure with one another in an environment of mutual cooperation and collaboration. I hope that Carnegie’s Chair for Strategic Affairs and its inaugural holder, Ashley Tellis, will contribute to our collective thinking towards that purpose. ”

(This post was revised and updated on April 18, 2017)





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