Wilson Center Experts

Ashley J. Tellis

Security and Defense
International Security
Nuclear Proliferation/Non-proliferation
U.S. Foreign Policy
China Mainland
South Asia
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Ashley J. Tellis is a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 2001 to 2003 he served as Senior Adviser at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, and in 2003, he also served on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Southwest Asia. Dr. Tellis is an expert in non-proliferation, U.S. foreign policy, and U.S. national security, South Asia, India, Pakistan, and China.

He specializes in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues. While on assignment to the U.S. Department of State as senior adviser to the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, he was intimately involved in negotiating the civil nuclear agreement with India.

Previously he was commissioned into the Foreign Service and served as senior adviser to the ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. He also served on the National Security Council staff as special assistant to the President and senior director for Strategic Planning and Southwest Asia.

Prior to his government service, Dr. Tellis was senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and professor of Policy Analysis at the RAND Graduate School.

He is the author of India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture (2001) and co-author of Interpreting China’s Grand Strategy: Past, Present, and Future (2000). He is the research director of the Strategic Asia program at NBR and co-editor of the six most recent annual volumes, including this year’s Strategic Asia 2009–10: Economic Meltdown and Geopolitical Stability. Dr. Tellis holds a BA and MA from the University of Bombay and a MA and PhD from The University of Chicago.

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