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

How the Region is Reacting to the Taliban Takeover

How the Region is Reacting to the Taliban Takeover

Thursday, August 19, 2021

By: Garrett Nada; Donald N. Jensen, Ph.D. ; Gavin Helf, Ph.D.; Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.; Tamanna Salikuddin

While the Taliban’s swift advance into Kabul over the weekend has left much of the West reeling, Afghans themselves will bear the brunt of the militant group’s rule. Beyond Afghanistan’s borders, its neighbors will feel the most immediate impact. Earlier this year, Russia, China and Pakistan affirmed that the future of Afghanistan should be decided through dialogue and political negotiations. How will they engage with the Taliban now?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

India, Pakistan Watch Warily as Taliban Move to Takeover

India, Pakistan Watch Warily as Taliban Move to Takeover

Monday, August 2, 2021

By: Vikram J. Singh; Ambassador Richard Olson; Tamanna Salikuddin

The Taliban’s rapid advances have caught the region and the United States off guard. The deterioration in security has forced India, along with many other countries, to retrench its diplomatic presence in the country, closing consulates outside of the capital of Kabul. There have been conflicting reports over the past month over whether or not Indian officials have engaged in talks with Taliban representatives in Qatar. Afghanistan’s neighbors all prefer a negotiated political settlement to the conflict but are preparing for the worst and could look to armed Afghan factions to protect their interests. Meanwhile, Kabul and Islamabad are blaming each other for the spiraling security situation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Tamanna Salikuddin on U.S.-Pakistan Relations

Tamanna Salikuddin on U.S.-Pakistan Relations

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

By: Tamanna Salikuddin

With the world’s fifth largest population, a nuclear-armed military, an important role in Afghanistan and a close relationship with China, Pakistan is vital to U.S. interests. Although there have been periods of turmoil, “Both countries must have a relationship and, ostensibly, share some interests,” says USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin.

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

Can India Escape its Devastating Second COVID Wave?

Can India Escape its Devastating Second COVID Wave?

Monday, May 3, 2021

By: Tamanna Salikuddin; Vikram J. Singh

India’s second wave of COVID has quickly turned into one of the worst outbreaks in the world. Since early March, official cases and deaths have skyrocketed, recently breaking world records on an almost daily basis. Meanwhile, Indian officials are warning the country’s health care system cannot keep up with the deluge of patients as supplies run thin, exposing India’s ailing health infrastructure. USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram Singh look at the origins of India’s second wave, its far-reaching consequences in the global fight against COVID and what the international community can and should do to help India weather the storm.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health

Pakistan Senate Election Upsets Government Efforts to Solidify Power

Pakistan Senate Election Upsets Government Efforts to Solidify Power

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

By: Tamanna Salikuddin; Jumaina Siddiqui; Colin Cookman; Ambassador Richard Olson

Pakistan held indirect elections on March 3 for the Senate, its upper house of Parliament, which is elected by sitting legislators in the National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) and each of the provincial assemblies. Given the typically party-line vote, Pakistani Senate elections tend to be mundane affairs, with the results often preordained. However, in last week’s elections the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, despite having a numerical majority in the national and provincial assemblies, failed to forestall defections among some lawmakers and in doing so failed to take control of the Senate from the opposition.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

View All