Nirupama named visiting fellow at Brown University

Nirupama Rao
Nirupama Rao

WASHINGTON: Nirupama Rao, the former Indian Ambassador to the US, has been named as the ‘Meera and Vikram Gandhi Fellow’ with the Brown-India initiative at the Watson Institute for International Studies.

Rao, who till early this month was India’s top envoy in the US, would use her one-year term at the Brown University to write a book, the university said in a statement.

It said Rao has been named as the Meera and Vikram Gandhi Fellow with the Brown-India Initiative at the Watson Institute for International Studies. Rao will begin her appointment in January 2014.

“I look forward to my year at Brown University with great anticipation. The India Initiative at Brown’s Watson Institute has provided a needed and valued focus on the study of contemporary India,” Rao said.

“I am thrilled to contribute to scholarship on India’s global outlook and its foreign policy priorities and challenges,” she said.

“Rao’s accomplishments are immense and well known. Her intellectual approach to diplomacy has always distinguished her,” said Ashutosh Varshney, director of the Initiative.

“Having served as India’s ambassador to the US and China and also as the country’s foreign secretary, she has accumulated invaluable diplomatic experience, knowledge, and insight. She will add greatly to our collective life at the India Initiative,” Varshney said.

Rao will have an office at the Watson Institute, which will allow her to meet and collaborate regularly with other Watson faculty and fellows.

She will deliver a lecture in the fall to share her progress on the book she will be writing while at Brown, which focuses on how the advent of new media technologies are changing the way countries respond to policy-related situations.

Rao, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1973, assumed her responsibilities as ambassador of India to the US in September 2011.

Prior to that, Rao was appointed Foreign Secretary, the highest office in the Indian Foreign Service, where she served a two-year term until July 2011.

She was also the first woman spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.

An interdisciplinary hub for the study of contemporary India, the goals of Brown-India Initiative are twofold: to produce first-rate academic research, and to contribute to public discourse on and in India through talks, events, and the convergence of figures from across the lines of academia, civil society, literature, public policy, and journalism.

The Meera and Vikram Gandhi Fellowships enable journalists, public figures and scholars working on India to undertake substantial projects while in residence at Brown.-PTI

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