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

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; Adnan Rafiq; 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

Connecting with others means seeing them. Labels get in the way.

Connecting with others means seeing them. Labels get in the way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

By: Tamanna Salikuddin

People’s identities are multi-layered—giving us various possible points of connection with another person. Stereotypes obscure those possibilities, as Afghan Taliban negotiators found when they talked with an Indian-American Muslim diplomat named Tamanna Salikuddin. Tamanna tells how she seeks individuals’ identities to build the trust for negotiations.

Type: Podcast

Sri Lanka’s Election Helps Cement the Rajapaksas’ Return to Power

Sri Lanka’s Election Helps Cement the Rajapaksas’ Return to Power

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

By: Jumaina Siddiqui; Tamanna Salikuddin; Vikram J. Singh

The Sri Lanka People's Front (SLPP) gained a parliamentary supermajority earlier this month in what was the first major election held in South Asia since the coronavirus pandemic began. The results solidified the political power of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had dissolved the previous parliament shortly after he was elected last year. USIP’s Jumaina Siddiqui, Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram Singh look at whether the polls were free and fair, what the landslide victory means for Sri Lanka as the country continues its recovery from civil war, and how the election impacts South Asia.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

India and China Come to Blows in the Himalayas

India and China Come to Blows in the Himalayas

Thursday, June 4, 2020

By: Vikram J. Singh; Jacob Stokes ; Tamanna Salikuddin

In early May, a fistfight broke out between Chinese and Indian soldiers along the disputed border between the world’s two most populous, nuclear-armed nations. A few days later, Chinese soldiers confronted Indian soldiers at several other points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which has served as the de facto border between the two countries since the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Both countries have more recently ramped up their military presence in the region. This escalation of tensions comes as China has turned increasingly assertive in its neighborhood, and as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. USIP’s Vikram J. Singh, Jacob Stokes, and Tamanna Salikuddin look at the causes behind the flare-up and its potential consequences.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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