Dr. Alyssa Ayres

Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations

PATRON EVENT: India Grows as a Global Power

About the Topic

This is a Patron event and will run from 6:30-8:00pm.

India has 1.3 billion people, and the UN estimates that it will overtake China as the most populous country in the world by 2022. Its economy is among the world’s top 10. Its military ranks as the world’s third largest. Despite persistent domestic problems, India is changing how it presents itself to the world, transitioning to a “leading power prepared to act.”

To better to reflect its growing economic weight, India seeks a larger voice in global institutions, including the UN Security Council, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. India is also working on other tracks to create alternative institutions. And, in 2015, India stepped forward to help craft the Paris Agreement on climate change, where previously it had been a hold-out.

How should the U.S. work with a rising yet fiercely independent India? Dr. Ayres suggests the short answer is to "align without being aligned," accepting that U.S. and Indian interests will not always mesh.

About the Speaker

Alyssa Ayres is senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. Much of her work focuses on India's role in the world, including its balancing act between China and the U.S. From 2010 - 2013, Dr. Ayres served as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia, a region of 1.3 billion people across six nations. She speaks fluent Urdu and Hindi.

Dr. Ayres' latest book explores India's drive to become a 21st-century power: Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World (January 2018). She told a recent interviewer, "I believe that it is incumbent upon Americans to better grasp the many important changes taking place with India's global role . . . rather than dismissing India's global relevance because the country continues to struggle with poverty, insufficient infrastructure, social cleavages, and other issues." The Financial Times listed the book among its top 10 "Summer Reads: Politics."

Dr. Ayres' book, Our Time Has Come, will be offered for sale at the event.