Dr. Alyssa Ayres is senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her work focuses on India’s role in the world and on U.S. relations with South Asia. Her most recent book, Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World, was published by Oxford University Press in January 2018.
Dr. Ayres served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka), providing policy direction for four U.S. embassies from 2010 to 2013. She was founding director of the India and South Asia practice at McLarty Associates, the Washington-based international strategic advisory firm, from 2008 to 2010. She served at the State Department as Special Assistant to the Undersecretary for Political Affairs (2007 to 2008) and in the nonprofit sector before that.
Trained originally as a cultural historian, Dr. Ayres received an AB magna cum laude from Harvard College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her first book, Speaking Like a State: Language and Nationalism in Pakistan, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. She has co-edited three books on India and Indian foreign policy, and directed two independent task forces on U.S.-India relations.