Ashley J. Tellis
Ashley J. Tellis

Ashley J. Tellis, one of the most renowned experts on international security, defence, and Asian strategic issues, is the inaugural Tata Chair at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

“I am deeply honoured to hold the Tata Chair,” said Tellis. “My relationship with the Tatas 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: I am profoundly grateful to Ratan Tata for his friendship and support over the years, and to Bill Burns and Carnegie’s Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to work on challenging issues of international security that are dear to my heart.”

Carnegie announced the establishment of the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs in recognition of Indian industrialist 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.

The Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs has been established at a time when Carnegie’s evolution as a global think tank intersects with disruptive changes in world politics. The Chair’s work will focus on the pressing international security challenges of the emerging world order, especially on U.S. foreign policy in Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

“The one strategic goal of countries that must precede all others is to bring prosperity to their people,” said Tata. “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. ”

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.

“I could not be more grateful to Ratan Tata for his generosity and partnership or touched by his personal decency and commitment to Carnegie’s mission,” said Carnegie President William J. Burns. “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. And there is no more important time for institutions like Carnegie to provide ideas and initiatives to help shape a rapidly changing international landscape.”

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