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Ronak D. Desai
Ronak D. Desai is an Affiliate at the Belfer Center's India and and South Asia Program at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project. He has written and published extensively on topics focused on South Asia and the Middle East, particularly in the context of international security and sanctions enforcement. In addition to his extensive work on Capitol Hill, Ronak also served as political director to a DNC member-at large from 2006-2007. Ronak earned joint public policy and law degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Law School from which he graduated magna cum laude. He currently practices law in Washington D.C.

Entries by Ronak D. Desai

Understanding Richard Verma's Swift Senate Confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to India

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 11:49 AM


Earlier this week, the United States Senate confirmed Richard Rahul Verma to become the next U.S. Ambassador to India. President Obama nominated Verma in September, just days before Indian Prime Minister Modi's inaugural visit to...

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The President Hits a Home Run Nominating Richard Verma as U.S. Ambassador to India

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 3:41 PM

Speaking in Asia earlier this year, President Obama explained that when conducting foreign policy, sometimes "you hit singles, you hit doubles; every once in a while we may be able to hit a home run."

The president sent one out of the park recently by nominating foreign...

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Fulfilling the Promise of the U.S.-India Defense Partnership

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 3:38 PM

With India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, scheduled to visit the United States next month, considerable attention has once again focused on the U.S.-India strategic partnership. Bilateral relations between Washington and New Delhi are multifaceted, encompassing collaboration in the strategic, economic, energy, education, and cultural spheres,...

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The Enigmatic Legacy of Manmohan Singh

(2) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 2:29 PM

The Bharatiya Janata Party ("BJP")'s landslide victory in India's historic elections last month constituted a clear repudiation of the governing Congress Party and its leader, Dr. Manmohan Singh. With Narendra Modi firmly installed as India's new prime minister, the question that naturally arises is...

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Understanding India's UN Abstention on Sri Lanka

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 2:48 PM

Members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted in favor of a resolution on Thursday to establish an international investigation into alleged war crimes that occurred during the final stages of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war. The 26-year conflict between government troops...

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Tensions Rise Between the United States and Sri Lanka Over Human Rights

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 2:01 PM

A major diplomatic rift has emerged between the United States and Sri Lanka over the island nation's human rights record. The dispute focuses on possible war crimes that occurred during the final phase of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war against the Liberation Tamil Tigers Elam ("LTTE") in 2009....

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U.S.-India Relations Will Endure Despite the Khobragade Controversy

(3) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 1:22 PM

A month after the United States arrested an Indian diplomat in New York over charges she committed visa fraud, a consensus has emerged that U.S.-India relations have sustained grave damage. If recent headlines and commentary in both countries are to be believed, the arrest and alleged...

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A Justice Denied as Bangladesh Prosecutes War Crimes

(2) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 2:46 PM

A special war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh sentenced an American citizen to death last month after convicting him in absentia for perpetrating crimes against humanity during the country's 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Established in 2010 by the governing Awami League, the Bangladesh International Crimes...

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A Fresh Start For U.S.-Pakistani Relations?

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 3:01 PM

As President Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meet in Washington today, American officials have struck a positive tone ahead of their talks. Secretary of State John Kerry informed reporters that the United States' relationship with Pakistan "could not be more important," while the White...

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Dr. Singh Goes to Washington: Why US-India Relations Still Matter

(21) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 10:25 AM

With President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scheduled to meet today in Washington regarding a host of different issues, expectations surrounding their bilateral talks are modest at best. Although the meeting constitutes the culmination of a series of high-level exchanges...

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Corruption in Cricket Exposes India's Larger Failings

(4) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 6:30 PM

There appears to be no end in sight to India's long season of scandal. Charges of corruption have now engulfed the world of professional cricket, the country's most revered sport. Authorities arrested three players and eleven bookkeepers weeks ago for alleged spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL),...

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Pakistan Makes History But Can It Do It Again?

(8) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 10:27 AM

Pakistan made history last month after its civilian government completed a full term in office for the first time since its founding in 1947.

Democracy has traditionally proven elusive in Pakistan. Each of its civilian governments has either been prematurely toppled by political...

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How Will India Confront its Corruption Crisis?

(1) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 4:39 PM

Adding to an already long list of scandals besieging the government in New Delhi, Italian prosecutors recently accused the former chief of India's air force, S.P. Tyagi, of corruption. Preliminary investigation papers filed in an Italian court allege that in exchange for bribes, Tyagi steered a lucrative deal...

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US-India Relations Under the Second Obama Administration

(1) Comments | Posted November 15, 2012 | 7:30 AM

What's ahead for US-India relations now that President Obama has won reelection? With ties between Washington and New Delhi continuing to flourish over the past four years, the US-India bilateral partnership will likely be characterized by continuity and growth during a second Obama term. The fundamental pillars underlying President Obama's...

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On Iran, India's Record Is Better Than You Think

(12) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 6:45 PM

News that India earlier this week hosted an Iranian ministerial delegation at the same time it held a conference on US-India relations has once again highlighted New Delhi's cozy relationship with Iran and prompted familiar commentary about India's balancing act between Tehran and Washington. But as the United States continues...

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