Tamanna Salikuddin is director of South Asia programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she oversees USIP’s work in Pakistan and broader South Asia. She comes into this role with extensive regional expertise in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Sri Lanka, particularly in political and demographic trends in the region.

Salikuddin's primary focus has been examining conflicts and conflict resolution across South and Central Asia and the Middle East, particularly those involving non-state actors and militant groups. She joined USIP in 2018 as a senior expert on peace processes where she led a program to build thought leadership and expertise on sustainable and inclusive peace processes.

Salikuddin joined USIP after 12 years in the U.S. government focused on South Asia and conflict resolution. From 2014 to 2017, she was a senior advisor to the special representative for Afghanistan & Pakistan at the U.S. Department of State. During this time, Salikuddin led a team of experts pursuing a peace process between the Afghan Taliban and Government of Afghanistan. She represented the United States at the historic Murree talks in 2015 and participated in other high-level negotiations. From 2011 to 2013, she served as Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the National Security Council focusing on U.S.-Pakistan relations and the Afghanistan peace process. She has served as a political officer at the U.S. embassy in Islamabad and an analyst on South Asia.

Prior to joining the U.S. government, Salikuddin worked as an attorney on international law issues in South Asia.

Publications By Tamanna

Pakistan’s Deadly Floods Come Amid Deluge of Crises

Pakistan’s Deadly Floods Come Amid Deluge of Crises

Thursday, September 1, 2022

By: Tamanna Salikuddin;  Jumaina Siddiqui

After experiencing its hottest months in 61 years in April and May, Pakistan has been hit by a “monsoon season on steroids,” according to U.N. chief Antonio Guterres. Pakistan has long been considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world. Despite a history of intense floods, the country was ill-prepared for this year’s monsoon season. Intractable political and economic crises have hampered Pakistan’s capacity to address the ongoing fallout, particularly the worsening humanitarian crisis.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Environment

Pakistan’s New Government Struggles to Consolidate Control

Pakistan’s New Government Struggles to Consolidate Control

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

By: Cyril Almeida;  Colin Cookman;  Adnan Rafiq;  Tamanna Salikuddin;  Jumaina Siddiqui

Pakistan’s current government, an unwieldy multi-party coalition led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) party, faced a new setback in July after losses in mid-month special elections for 20 constituencies in the country’s heartland province of Punjab. Although the PML-N coalition attempted to retain control of the provincial government through manuevers in the provincial assembly, a Supreme Court ruling on July 26 overturned earlier precedent and ordered the election of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, an ally of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, to the position of chief minister.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Tamanna Salikuddin on the Crisis in Sri Lanka

Tamanna Salikuddin on the Crisis in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

By: Tamanna Salikuddin

Despite loosening former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa family's powerful grip on Sri Lankan politics, there's still "a crisis of legitimacy in the country, where people see the leadership can’t deliver" on issues like reconciliation, political reform and addressing the devastating economic crisis, says USIP's Tamanna Salikuddin.

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

Five Things to Know about Sri Lanka’s Crisis

Five Things to Know about Sri Lanka’s Crisis

Friday, July 15, 2022

By: Tamanna Salikuddin

Following months of escalating protests, and the May resignation of his brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on July 13. Sri Lanka’s economy has hit rock bottom as it defaulted on international loans and is facing rampant fuel and food shortages, and the government imposed a state of emergency. Gotabaya’s flight from the country leaves the government in further disarray. How did Sri Lanka get here and what does this political and economic crisis mean for the country and the region?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

The Latest on Strategic Stability in Southern Asia: 4 Things You Need to Know

The Latest on Strategic Stability in Southern Asia: 4 Things You Need to Know

Friday, June 10, 2022

By: Tamanna Salikuddin;  Vikram J. Singh

While the world focuses on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there's another hotspot — China, India and Pakistan — where three nuclear-armed states share contested borders. In this video, USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram J. Singh discuss how to enhance stability in the region, the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific strategy, the prospects of nuclear talks in Southern Asia, and the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Type: Blog

Global Policy

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