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Goldstein Program in Public Affairs

Date: 7:00pm EDT October 1, 2014

Modi’s India: New Challenges and New Opportunities

In April-May 2014, a record number of Indians participated in the world’s largest democratic exercise. It was a historic win for Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)– and a crushing defeat for the Congress Party. Join the Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel and Tanvi Madan for a discussion of India’s recent elections and the challenges it poses for US policy in the region.

Bruce Riedel is senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, part of Brookings’ new Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Riedel also serves as a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

Riedel joined Brookings following a 30-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, a tenure which included multiple overseas postings. He served as a senior advisor to the last four U.S. presidents on South Asia and the Middle East, working as a senior member of the National Security Council. In the 1990s, Riedel also served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Near East and South Asia at the Pentagon and a senior advisor at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels. A member of President Bill Clinton’s Middle East negotiating team, Riedel took part in the Camp David peace negotiations, as well as other Arab-Israeli summits. An adviser to President Clinton on South Asia, Riedel organized the president’s trip to India in 2000.

In January 2009, at the request of President Barack Obama, Riedel chaired a review of American policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Obama announced the results of that review in a speech to the nation in March 2009. In 2011, Riedel served as an expert advisor to the prosecution of al Qaeda terrorist Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab in Detroit. Later that same year, Prime Minister David Cameron requested that Riedel deliver a briefing on Pakistan to Britain’s National Security Council.

Riedel is the author several books, including The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future (2008) and The Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad (2011), which was translated into Persian. He is a contributor to Which Path to Persia: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran (2009), The Arab Awakening: America and the Transformation of the Middle East (2011), and Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988 (2012). His latest book is Avoiding Armageddon: America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back (2013).

Riedel teaches at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies. He is a graduate of Brown (B.A.), Harvard (M.A.) and the Royal College of Defense Studies in London. Bruce is a recipient of the Intelligence Medal of Merit and the Distinguished Intelligence Career Medal.


Tanvi Madan is a fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, and director of the India Project. Madan’s work explores Indian foreign policy, focusing in particular on India’s relations with China and the United States. She also researches the intersection between Indian energy policies and its foreign and security policies. 

Previously she was a Harrington doctoral fellow and teaching assistant at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed a dissertation entitled “With an Eye to the East: The China Factor and the U.S.-India Relationship, 1949-1979.” She has also previously been a research analyst at the Brookings Institution.

In addition to a Ph.D. from UT-Austin, Madan has an M.A. in International Relations from Yale University and a B.A. (Hons.) in History from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, India. She has authored publications on India’s foreign policy, as well as its energy security policies.

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