Vikram Nehru

Senior Associate
Asia Program
Bakrie Chair in Southeast Asian Studies
Nehru is a senior associate in the Carnegie Asia Program. An expert on development economics, growth, poverty reduction, debt sustainability, governance, and the performance and prospects of East Asia, his research focuses on the economic, political, and strategic issues confronting Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.


MA, MPhil, Oxford University


Vikram Nehru is a senior associate in the Asia Program and Bakrie Chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. An expert on development economics, growth, poverty reduction, debt sustainability, governance, and the performance and prospects of East Asia, his research focuses on the economic, political, and strategic issues confronting Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.

From 1981 to 2011, Nehru served in the World Bank, including in a number of senior management positions. Most recently, he was chief economist and director for poverty reduction, economic management, and private and financial sector development for East Asia and the Pacific. In this capacity, he advised the governments of developing countries in East Asia and the Pacific on economic and governance issues, including macroeconomic management, public sector and public financial management, financial and private sector development, and poverty reduction.

Previously, he directed the World Bank’s Economic Policy and Debt Department, where he was responsible for managing global programs for debt relief and for developing new tools and techniques for growth analytics, fiscal-policy analysis, subnational and regional development, and small-states development. In addition, he chaired the bank’s Economic Policy Sector Board, which provided strategic leadership for all of its country and macroeconomists.

In leading the World Bank’s Debt Department, Nehru managed the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, Debt Sustainability Framework, Debt Reduction Facility, Debt Management Facility, Debt Management Performance Assessment Program, and Medium Term Debt Strategies for Developing Countries.

His portfolio at the World Bank also included serving as lead economist on Indonesia and China as well as senior economist for Ghana. Prior to joining the World Bank, he held an administrative position with the government of India.

Nehru has written numerous journal articles and contributed to several books. His papers include: “East Asia and the Pacific Confronts the ‘New Normal’”; “The Concept of Odious Debt: Some Considerations”; “When is External Debt Sustainable?”; “Indonesia in Crisis”; and “China 2020: Development Challenges in the New Century.”

  • Diplomat September 25, 2015
    ASEAN’s Economic Future

    Southeast Asia is on the verge of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community, but will it be a game-changer for the region?

  • VOA Global March 2, 2015
    Malaysia-China Relations Since MH370

    The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has not had a long-lasting impact on Malaysia-China relations.

  • NPR’s Here & Now November 14, 2014
    President Obama Says Myanmar’s Political Reform ‘Still Incomplete’

    While the easy reforms in Myanmar have been implemented, institutional reforms are necessary going forward.

  • Diplomat June 2, 2014
    Understanding Thailand’s Coup

    Thailand’s coup is rooted in the clash between the rising voice of the rural poor and the established power of the Bangkok elite. The resolution of this clash will determine the character of Thai democracy.

  • December 9, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Myanmar’s Elections: What Happened and What Happens Now?

    Myanmar’s new parliament will begin deliberations in late January 2016, and a new president will be elected in March. But there is no certainty that the transfer of power will be smooth or peaceful—or whether it will happen at all.

  • October 28, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Asia’s Economic Outlook: A View From the IMF

    Though Asia remains the fastest growing region globally, its growth rate is slowing. Are the policies of countries in the region robust enough to deal with external exigencies, and how successful will they be?

  • October 17, 2015 Guangzhou 中文
    China and the Global Economy

    China’s previous development model has produced diminishing returns, prompting a series of reforms aimed to improve the country’s long-term economic prospects.

  • September 22, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Myanmar’s Military and the 2015 Elections

    Campaigning has begun for Myanmar’s first general election since the end of direct military rule. But recent events underscore the influential role of the military in the run-up to the election and raise questions about civil-military relations in the country’s transition to democracy.

  • September 11, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Myanmar in Transition: A Conversation with Daniel Russel

    Fresh from a trip to Yangon and Naypyidaw, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia and the Pacific will give an update on policy toward Myanmar as the country gears up for historic elections. Carnegie’s Vikram Nehru will moderate.

  • Rohingya protest
    July 22, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Myanmar’s Ethnic, Communal, and Human Rights Challenges and the 2015 Elections

    Myanmar’s upcoming 2015 elections will be an important milestone in the country’s struggle to define itself as it goes through profound economic and political change. Yet its transition to democracy is challenged by deep internal ethnic and communal fault lines and a legacy of human rights abuses.

  • June 3, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Why Myanmar’s Elections Matter

    Myanmar’s general elections, scheduled for early November this year, could mark a watershed in the country’s transition from military dictatorship to parliamentary democracy.

  • May 12, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    China Faces the Kiss of Debt

    Confronted by the 2008 global financial crisis, China unleashed an unprecedented economic stimulus package that included rapid growth in credit to enterprises and local governments. In other countries, large increases in debt have usually been followed by sharp growth slowdowns, and many ended in crisis.

  • May 1, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Myanmar Votes 2015: A Conversation With Thura Shwe Mann

    Myanmar voters will go to the polls this fall in what could be the most important elections in the country’s history.

  • March 26, 2015 Washington, DC
    Indonesia: There’s a New Sheriff in Town

    President Joko Widodo’s first four months in office have been anything but uneventful. He has had to confront a series of political challenges from the opposition coalition, the police, his own party, and even his mentor, former president Megawati Sukarnoputri.


Areas of Expertise

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