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CSIS Establishes Wadhwani Chair In U.S.-India Policy Studies

Press Release
01/06/2011

The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and that Ambassador Karl F. Inderfurth, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, will serve as the inaugural chair holder. The chair is made possible by the generous support of the Wadhwani Foundation, which is founded and led by CSIS trustee and Symphony Technology Group CEO Dr. Romesh Wadhwani.

“The newly established chair will pioneer policies that expand political and economic ties with India,” said Senator Sam Nunn, chairman of the CSIS Board of Trustees. “As a close U.S.-India relationship is in both countries’ interest, the chair’s work will be vitally important. CSIS is grateful to Dr. Wadhwani for making this possible.”

“The U.S.-India relationship is one of America’s most strategically important partnerships of the twenty-first century,” said John Hamre, CSIS president and CEO. “Dr. Wadhwani’s generosity, and Karl F. Inderfurth’s work as the Wadhwani Chair, will contribute to critical policymaking efforts to build a secure and sustainable future for the relationship.”

The Wadhwani Chair will serve as an independent platform in Washington from which to assess major policies and strategic issues in the relationship between India and the United States. It will place special emphasis on policies to accelerate economic development in India, with a wide-ranging agenda including economics, energy security, climate change, regional security and India’s role in the world.

Ambassador Inderfurth will work closely with a partner chair holder at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) in New Delhi to promote pragmatic policies conducive to India’s economic growth and development, bringing together public and private sector representatives in both countries.

“The last decade has seen a remarkable transformation in US-India relations,” said Ambassador Inderfurth. “I believe the Wadhwani Chair will build on this solid foundation and serve as a key player and catalytic agent for unlocking the full potential of the US-India relationship in the years to come.”

Previously, Ambassador Inderfurth was John O. Rankin Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and the Director of the International Affairs Program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs from 1997 to 2001; special representative of the president and secretary of state for global humanitarian demining from 1997 to 1998; and US representative for special political affairs to the United Nations, with ambassadorial rank, where he also served as deputy U.S. representative on the UN Security Council from 1993 to 1997.

Ambassador Inderfurth has worked as a national security and Moscow correspondent for ABC News (1981–1991) and received an Emmy award in 1983. He has also served on the staffs of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees and the National Security Council.

“The importance of the strategic partnership between the US and India and the changing dynamic in both countries requires us to take policy thought leadership to the next level,” said Dr. Wadhwani. “The Wadhwani Chair at CSIS is intended to be the fulcrum for this and to develop creative new options for top policy makers in both countries to accelerate economic development. We are delighted to have a person with the stature of Karl Inderfurth as the first holder of the Wadhwani Chair at CSIS.”

Dr. Wadhwani is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Symphony Technology Group, a group of nine software and services companies with combined revenue of over $ 2.5 billion and 15,000 employees. He is also the founder and chairman of the Wadhwani Foundation, which is devoted to accelerating economic development in India and emerging economies. The Wadhwani Foundation is currently leading and funding many ongoing large-scale economic development initiatives in India, including the National Entrepreneurship Network and the Opportunities Network for the Disabled. Earlier, he founded Aspect Development, Inc., a leading supply chain software company, where he was chairman and CEO until 2000, when the company merged with i2 Technologies in one of the largest software mergers ever. Prior to that he served as founder, chairman and CEO of Cimflex Teknowledge Corporation. Dr. Wadhwani received his B.S. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

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The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decisionmakers.



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