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 the Quad Leaders’ Summit Means for the Indo-Pacific Amid Rising Tensions with China

What the Quad Leaders’ Summit Means for the Indo-Pacific Amid Rising Tensions with China

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

By: Daniel Markey, Ph.D.; Carla Freeman, Ph.D.; Brian Harding; Mirna Galic; Vikram J. Singh

On September 24, President Biden hosted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House for the first-ever in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit. The event marked a milestone for the group, which started as an ad hoc coordination mechanism for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The four leaders unveiled a slate of new initiatives on a range of pressing global issues — from climate change and COVID-19 to technology, infrastructure and education — as well as formalized plans to meet annually.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

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

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

Austin, Blinken Affirm U.S. Commitment to Asian Allies

Austin, Blinken Affirm U.S. Commitment to Asian Allies

Thursday, March 18, 2021

By: Patricia M. Kim; Frank Aum; Vikram J. Singh; Brian Harding

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are in Asia this week for their first official foreign trip. They held meetings in Japan and South Korea. Blinken returned to the United States via Alaska where he and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan meet with their Chinese counterparts today, while Austin is in India. On March 12, President Joe Biden and the leaders of Australia, India and Japan participated in a virtual summit of the “Quad,” a strategic dialogue between the four countries aimed at ensuring an open, free and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy; Conflict Analysis & Prevention

How to Prevent Fresh Hostilities as Afghan Peace Talks Progress

How to Prevent Fresh Hostilities as Afghan Peace Talks Progress

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

By: Meghan L. O’Sullivan; Vikram J. Singh; Johnny Walsh

Many peace processes experience at least short-term reversions to violence. Even a successful Afghan peace process will be at risk of the same, especially in the likely event that the United States and its allies continue to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Ideally, such troop reductions would move in parallel with de-escalatory measures by the Taliban and other armed actors on the ground. A healthy dose of realism is in order, however. Though the Taliban and others in Afghanistan are unlikely to ever fully disarm or demobilize, persistent resources and attention from the United States and its allies can help prevent any regression to full-scale violence during the years of any peace agreement’s implementation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

View All