Vikram Singh, the highest-ranking Indian-American at the Pentagon, is joining an eminent US think-tank after serving the Obama Administration in various positions for over five years. Singh, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, is joining the Center for American Progress (CAP) as its vice president for National Security and International Policy and will oversee its work on national security around the globe, while continuing his focus on Asia.
He will officially join CAP in March. “Vikram is a leading foreign policy thinker of his generation and has tackled the country’s greatest foreign policy challenges during his time at the State Department and the Pentagon,” CAP president Neera Tanden said in a statement. “As we continue to shape a pragmatic foreign policy strategy over the next decade, Vikram’s insights, sharp strategic mind and experience will guide our work,” Tanden said.
Before his current appointment at the Pentagon, Singh was the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Department of State, during which he played a key role in shaping the Af-Pak policy of the Obama Administration. Singh has also served in the Department of Defense as a senior advisor, representing the department in National Security Council policy reviews of Pakistan and the war in Afghanistan and later leading the development of the department’s post-2014 strategic approach to South and Central Asia.
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Prior to his most recent assignments at the Pentagon, Singh served in the Department of Defense from 2003 through 2007 on a number of defense policy issues, including programs to train and equip foreign military forces, US military counter-insurgency and irregular warfare capabilities, stability operations, disaster response and humanitarian assistance, and the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review.
As a fellow at the Center for a New American Security from 2007 to 2009, Singh published widely on defense strategy, national security policy, and Asia. Singh lived and worked in Sri Lanka while running a Ford Foundation programme on minority rights and conflict in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Lanka. He also reported on the Lankan civil war for the Voice of America.