Vikram J. Singh is senior advisor to the Asia Program at USIP. Singh has been a leader of innovation in public policy and global affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of State, and major non-profits. He advises USIP on all aspects of peace and stability in Asia including Afghanistan and Pakistan, Myanmar, China’s role in the region, and North Korea.

From 2014 to 2017 Singh was vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress, where he established CAP’s Asia program and launched work on nuclear security, a major task force on U.S – India relations, and a program on defending the internet as a force for democracy.

As deputy assistant secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia from 2012 to 2014, Singh ran negotiations to deepen U.S. defense cooperation in the region including through new access agreements with Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore. Singh was Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Department of State until 2011. He developed a political-military strategy for reconciliation efforts to end the war. He represented the United States with China, India, Russia, Middle Eastern partners, the U.N., and NATO members on political, military and economic issues related to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Singh was the first defense fellow at the Center for a New American Security in 2007. He was previously the Pentagon’s first director for partnership strategy, developing and securing passage by Congress of new legal authorities for global defense cooperation. As a Presidential Management Fellow, Singh also served at U.S. Mission to the United Nations and chaired the DoD missile technology working group for the “Next Steps in the Strategic Partnership” with India.

Singh received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service in 2012 and the Department of State Superior Honor Award in 2006 and 2012. He is a Fellow of Columbia University and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University.

Publications By Vikram

What a Russian Nuclear Escalation Would Mean for China and India

What a Russian Nuclear Escalation Would Mean for China and India

Thursday, November 10, 2022

By: Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh;  Alex Stephenson

Since Russia began its assault on Ukraine last February, India and China have straddled the fence by hinting at their concerns regarding the war’s global fallout while avoiding direct public criticism of Moscow. Despite rhetorical consternation and calls for a peaceful resolution, neither has shown a willingness to meaningfully push back against Putin’s escalations in Ukraine. Instead, the two Asian nuclear powers are approaching the situation with caution and calculated diplomacy to preserve their own strategic interests — both in Russia and the West.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

Modi, Putin and Xi Join the SCO Summit Amid Turbulent Times

Modi, Putin and Xi Join the SCO Summit Amid Turbulent Times

Thursday, September 22, 2022

By: Cordelia Buchanan Ponczek;  Mary Glantz, Ph.D.;  Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) resumed in-person summits last week in the wake of the COVID pandemic and at a moment of unprecedent change and challenge. Member states Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are at war over their border. So are dialogue partner states Armenia and Azerbaijan. All SCO members are dealing with the economic impact of the Russian war in Ukraine as well as climate disruptions like the floods overwhelming Pakistan. Mistrust between India and Pakistan, full members since 2017, make cooperation difficult on the SCO’s original core mission of counterterrorism. And India and China, which were building toward the “Wuhan spirit” of cooperation when India joined in 2017, are hardly on speaking terms despite recent progress toward deescalating a friction point along their disputed Line of Actual Control.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

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

Amid Ukraine War, U.S. Signals the Indo-Pacific is a Vital Priority

Amid Ukraine War, U.S. Signals the Indo-Pacific is a Vital Priority

Thursday, June 9, 2022

By: Mirna Galic;  Brian Harding;  Tamanna Salikuddin;  Vikram J. Singh

While the Ukraine war continues to dominate policymakers’ attention, the Biden administration has engaged in a series of diplomatic initiatives with allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific region over the course of the last two months. The message is clear: Washington sees the Indo-Pacific as the world’s principal geostrategic region, with a host of challenges to meet — like competition with China and climate change — and opportunities to seize, particularly related to technology and the economy.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EconomicsGlobal Policy

China, India and Pakistan: Tenuous Stability Risks Nuclear War

China, India and Pakistan: Tenuous Stability Risks Nuclear War

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

By: Daniel Markey, Ph.D.;  Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh

Over the past decade, long-standing disputes between the nuclear-armed states of Southern Asia have repeatedly veered into deeper hostility and violence. These regional developments reflect and reinforce new and significant geopolitical shifts, starting with the global strategic competition between China and the United States. In Southern Asia, relations between the United States and Pakistan have frayed even as U.S.-India and China-Pakistan ties have strengthened. The region now faces deepening and more multifaceted polarization. Global competition adds fuel to regional conflict and reduces options for crisis mediation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

View All