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Welcome Ambassador Rajendra Abhyankar

Welcome Ambassador Rajendra Abhyankar                          

Ambassador Abhyankar joins Purdue after having previously served as Professor of Practice of Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs for 8 years.  Before coming to Indiana, Ambassador Abhyankar had an illustrious diplomatic career spanning more than 30 years, retiring in 2005 as India’s Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Other notable posts include serving as Consul General of India in San Francisco, Ambassador to Turkey, and Ambassador to Syria. 

Given his high-level experience in many strategic areas, Ambassador Abhyankar brings a wealth of expertise regarding diplomacy and statecraft, Middle Eastern politics, nuclear policy, civil war and conflict, as well as tech policy and economic development. His diverse postings have also allowed him to command several language; Ambassador Abhyankar reads, writes, and speaks Italian and French fluently; speaks and reads Greek and Turkish; and speaks Arabic. 

Since retiring from diplomatic service and entering academia, Ambassador Abhyankar has written several books, including a memoir of his time as a diplomat titled Stuff Happens: An Anecdotal Insight into Indian Diplomacy (2013), as well as The Crossing (2013), Indian Diplomacy: Beyond Strategic Autonomy (2018), and Syria: The Tragedy of a Pivotal State (2020), among others. A frequent speaker and commentator on topics in international affairs, Ambassador Abhyankar is also Chairman of the Kunzru Center for Defense Studies and Research, a private defense and security thinktank in Pune, India, and an advisor to many philanthropic organizations.

At Purdue, Ambassador Abhyankar will be teaching courses in the Department of Political Science, including an advanced course on Special Topics in Diplomacy. He will also be teaching in the College of Liberal Art’s Cornerstone program. In addition, he is also Senior Fellow at Purdue’s new Center for Tech Diplomacy.