Darshana M. Baruah

Associate Fellow
South Asia Program
Darshana M. Baruah is an associate fellow with the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where she leads the Indian Ocean Initiative. Her primary research focuses on maritime security in Asia and the role of the Indian Navy in a new security architecture.


MSc Econ International Relations, Cardiff University
BA (hons.) History, Miranda House, Delhi University


Assamese; English; Hindi


Darshana M. Baruah is an associate fellow with the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where she leads the Indian Ocean Initiative. Baruah is also currently a visiting fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo, where she is working on a book about the significance of strategic islands in the Indian Ocean region. Her primary research focuses on maritime security in Asia and the role of the Indian Navy in a new security architecture. Her work also examines the strategic implications of China’s infrastructure and connectivity projects as well as trilateral partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. Baruah has spent time in think tanks in Delhi, Tokyo, Canberra, and Sydney working on issues of maritime security, Indian Ocean, and the Indo-Pacific.

Previously, Baruah was the associate director and a senior research analyst at Carnegie India where she led the center’s initiative on maritime security. As the associate director, Baruah’s institutional responsibilities included coordinating and overseeing the center’s development, outreach, and institutional partnerships. While at Carnegie India, Baruah also coordinated and led various track 1.5 dialogues and seminars.  Her research projects included work on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as trilateral partnerships and strategic connectivity projects in the Indo-Pacific. 

In 2018, Baruah was also a visiting fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) Tokyo. Prior to this, Baruah was a 2016 national parliamentary fellow at the Australian parliament and a visiting fellow at the Australian National University (Canberra) and the Lowy Institute (Sydney), where her research was centered on India-Australia maritime collaboration in the Indo-Pacific.

Baruah was awarded the programme d’invitations de personnalités d’avenir (broadly translates to “personalities of the future”) by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2018 and was also named as the UK’s next generation foreign and security policy scholar for 2017.

Prior to Carnegie India, Baruah was with the maritime security initiative at the Observer Research Foundation, where she was the associate editor of the South China Sea Monitor.

  • Op-Ed Hindustan Times November 22, 2021
    Indo-Pacific: Expand The Idea of Security

    The Glasgow conference witnessed small island-nations, facing an existential threat from the climate crisis, asserting themselves. This played a role in pushing countries across the world to commit to a global temperature rise of 1.5 degree Celsius, in keeping with the Paris agreement.

  • Perth USAsia Centre November 3, 2021
    India’s Maritime Engagements With its European Partners

    There will inevitably be areas of both convergence and divergence in India and Europe’s Indo-Pacific approach. However, maritime security has emerged as a key pillar of India’s foreign policy engagement and a consensus area of focus

  • Op-Ed Hindustan Times September 29, 2021
    From the Periphery to the Centre, India’s Maritime Moment Has Arrived

    As India takes its Indo-Pacific engagements forward, Delhi must continue to build on its maritime moment, leveraging opportunities and partnerships in addressing its concerns and challenges.

  • Op-Ed Hindustan Times June 3, 2021
    Developing the Sister Islands of Indian Ocean

    The primary issues facing island nations in the Indian Ocean are sustainable development, illegal fishing, disaster management, the climate crisis, renewable energy and other aspects of the blue economy.

  • Diplomat June 1, 2021
    Indian Ocean Geopolitics

    The in-vogue term “Indo-Pacific” positions the Indian Ocean region as part of singular geographic–and geopolitical–region along with the Pacific Ocean. Yet understandings of and approaches to the Indian Ocean region are very much in the eye of the beholder.

  • Political Fix April 17, 2021
    The Indian Ocean and the Need for Delhi to Have a ‘Maritime Mentality’

    The global rise of China, the closer connections forged by the Quad – India, U.S., Japan and Australia, and Washington, DC’s perceived move away from Middle-Eastern conflicts has made the ‘Indo-Pacific’ one of the most mentioned geopolitical buzzwords of the last few years.

  • Carnegie.ru Commentary March 31, 2021
    Podcast: Russia and the Indo-Pacific

    Podcast host Alex Gabuev; Darshana Baruah, an associate fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Michito Tsuruoka, an associate professor at Keio University in Tokyo, examine relations in and around the Indo-Pacific.

  • Op-Ed Hindustan Times March 30, 2021
    It Is Time to Reimagine the Indian Ocean

    If China indeed is emerging as the key competitor to India’s interests in the Indian Ocean Region, then Delhi needs to reframe its mental maps and view the Indian Ocean as one continuous space, and understand regional dynamics better.

  • Op-Ed War on the Rocks March 18, 2021
    Showing Up is Half the Battle: U.S. Maritime Forces in the Indian Ocean

    U.S. foreign and defense policy does not treat the Indian Ocean region as one space but instead as a boundary between spaces. This division has led to fragmented policies across the region that fail to address regional strategic concerns and challenges.

  • What Is Happening in the Indian Ocean?
    Q&A March 3, 2021
    What Is Happening in the Indian Ocean?

    Dizzyingly enormous and varied in topography and culture, the Indian Ocean is critical to global trade, security, and geopolitics. As countries jostle for influence in its crowded waterways, how will the new power dynamics play out?

  • Center for Strategic and International Studies June 7, 2021
    The Indian Ocean and the Asia Chessboard

    A discussion of the strategic significance of the Indian Ocean to the United States and its allies and partners in the region.

  • Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies April 8, 2021
    A Regional Identity for the Indian Ocean

    A discussion of the development of a maritime-linked regional identity throughout the Indian Ocean littorals and what forces are likely to shape how regional states engage within the wider Indian Ocean Region.

  • Grand Tamasha April 6, 2021
    On the Indian Ocean Imperative

    Few regions of the world have gotten more attention in the first few months of the Biden administration than Asia. And, within Asia, top U.S. leaders have singled out the importance of the Indo-Pacific region in particular.

  • World Unpacked March 25, 2021
    The Indo-Pacific’s Moment

    Marked by strategic choke points and vital shipping routes, the Indo-Pacific has long played a pivotal role in geopolitics and the flows of global trade.

  • Maritime Security Challenges March 8, 2021
    The Strategic Importance of Indian Ocean Islands

    A discussion looking at the global strategic importance of the islands in the Indian Ocean.

  • Sea Control December 13, 2020
    The U.S. First Fleet in the Indo-Pacific Region

    The U.S. Secretary of the Navy recently announced the intent to re-establish the U.S. First Fleet in the Indo-Pacific region.

  • Bridging the Oceans November 4, 2020
    India’s Indo-Pacific Vision: Stabilizing the Indian Ocean Region

    Driven in part by an evolving?foreign and security policy trajectory within India and a changing regional security environment, India?is set to take on a stronger role within the Indian Ocean Region and seek opportunities to assist?partners?in other parts of the Indo-Pacific.?

  • The Print October 31, 2020
    China’s Navy Expands to Indian Ocean Region

    A discussion of the capabilities of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean Region, it’s likely force projection and posture by 2035, and perspective planning for countering Chinese naval operations in the region.

  • Armchair Strategist September 11, 2020
    Agitated Waters: Securing the Indian Ocean

    The Indian Ocean is the lynchpin in India’s Indo-Pacific vision.

  • Policy, Guns and Money September 11, 2020
    India’s Maritime Power

    A discussion of India’s navy and its maritime goals, the Quad, and Australia-India relations.

  • Maritime Insecurity Around the Arabian Peninsula
    December 9, 2021 YouTube @CARNEGIEMENA عربي
    Maritime Insecurity Around the Arabian Peninsula

    Join us on Thursday, December 9 from 15:00-16:15 EET for a public panel discussion with Abdullah Baaboud, Darshana M. Baruah and Paul Haenle chaired by Nilanthi Samaranayake.

  • Navigating a Turbulent Future: What to Expect in 2022?
    December 9, 2021 Live on YouTube and Facebook عربي
    Navigating a Turbulent Future? What to Expect in 2022

    The Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center will be holding its fifth annual conference on Wednesday, December 8, and Thursday, December 9, 2021, to delve deeper into what to expect in 2022.

  • Can China and India Get Back on Track?
    November 16, 2021 Live Online
    Can China and India Get Back on Track?

    Paul Haenle will moderate a discussion between Han Hua and Darshana Baruah on the trajectory of China-India ties and the implications for the United States.

  • Ocean Nations: An Indo-Pacific Islands Dialogue 
    September 20, 2021 Japan Society, New York City
    Ocean Nations: An Indo-Pacific Islands Dialogue 

    Join us for a special two-day dialogue on security in the Indo-Pacific and island nations' perceptions of regional priorities and challenges.

  • Indian Ocean Initiative Launch
    September 14, 2021 Live Online
    Indian Ocean Initiative Launch

    Join us for the celebratory launch of Carnegie’s Indian Ocean Initiative, a forum to examine the nexus of economic, geopolitical, and security interests in the Indian Ocean and its island states and territories.

  • India in the Indo-Pacific: New Delhi's Theatre of Opportunity
    September 17, 2020 Live Online
    India in the Indo-Pacific: New Delhi’s Theater of Opportunity

    As challenges from China increasingly threaten the United States and its partners in Asia, the Indo-Pacific has emerged as a theater of great power rivalry—with India playing a leading role.

  • March 15, 2019 Moscow
    Between Greater Eurasia and Indo-Pacific: What’s Next for Multilateralism in Asia?

    Over the course of the last two years, security risks across Asia have been on the rise. The region’s future is marred with uncertainty that is rooted in the revival of great power competition, and trade wars. The Carnegie Moscow Center and the Russian International Affairs Council organized a discussion about the future of the region.

  • India-Japan-ASEAN: Promoting Stability in the Indo-Pacific
    March 13, 2019 New Delhi
    India-Japan-ASEAN: Promoting Stability in the Indo-Pacific

    While New Delhi and Tokyo have identified regional cooperation across the Indo-Pacific as a major objective of their bilateral partnership, cooperation with ASEAN remains at the heart of their Indo-Pacific approach.

  • 1st India Strategy Group
    June 8, 2018 Arrábida, Portugal
    India Strategy Group 2018

    As Europe diversifies its partnerships with Asia, India will be a central actor with a rising capacity to influence international politics.

  • India and the UK in a Changing Maritime Environment
    November 6, 2017 New Delhi
    India and the UK in a Changing Maritime Environment

    Participants discussed strengthening maritime collaboration between India and the UK.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=1253

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