Darshana M. Baruah
Nonresident Scholar, South Asia Program


Darshana M. Baruah is a nonresident scholar with the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where she directs the Indian Ocean Initiative. Under the Initiative, Baruah convenes the annual Indo-Pacific Islands dialogue bringing together the islands of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific to highlight and discuss issues of importance to island nations. In her current role, Baruah conceptualized the Indian Ocean interactive map designed to convey the strategic importance of the region’s geographic features, trading routes, and maritime security. Baruah’s primary research focuses on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific and the role of islands in shaping great power competition. Her work examines the impact of maritime security in foreign policy engagements, naval strategy, maritime partnerships in the Indo-Pacific, and island agency in shaping great power competition. Baruah has spent time in think tanks in Delhi, Tokyo, Canberra, and Sydney before moving to Washington D.C. working on issues of maritime security, Indian Ocean, and the Indo-Pacific.

Baruah currently also holds an expert affiliate with the National Security College, Australian National University, and is a Non-Resident Fellow with the Sea Power Centre-Australia.

Previously, Baruah was a visiting resident fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo, working on a project exploring the role of islands in maritime security. Prior to that, Baruah was the associate director and senior research analyst at Carnegie India where she led the center’s initiative on maritime security. Baruah was also a visiting fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) Tokyo and a 2016 national parliamentary fellow at the Australian parliament and a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute (Sydney), where her research was centered on India-Australia maritime collaboration in the Indo-Pacific.

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

All work from Darshana M. Baruah

102 Results
In The Media
in the media
An Ocean of Opportunities: Why Australia Should Prioritize the Indian Ocean Region

What is the strategic significance of the Indian Ocean to Australia? What challenges and opportunities does the region present for Australia and its partners? And how much can Australia realistically achieve in such a vast region?

· February 15, 2024
The National Security Podcast
How Chinese Financing Shapes the Pacific

One reason Pacific Island countries continue to borrow from China is their huge demand for infrastructure.

· February 8, 2024
Carnegie Global Dialogue: China and the Pacific Islands
January 23, 2024

In recent years, Beijing has emerged as a key economic and security player for Pacific island nations. At the same time, Pacific island states face a multitude of challenges, from the impact of climate change to rising great power competition.

In the Media
Why Climate Change Is Especially Dire for Islands

The author of Sea Change explains the frustration, grief, and anger of the people at the forefront of the environmental crisis.

· November 29, 2023
Ocean Nations: The 3rd Annual Indo-Pacific Islands Dialogue
September 18, 2023

The third annual Summit of Indian and Pacific Ocean island nations, with a focus on the issues that affect them most.

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In the Media
Bolstering the Quad: The Case for a Collective Approach to Maritime Security

This report lays out a case and provides a menu of policy options for how the Quad can pursue a collective approach to Indo-Pacific maritime security, with a particular focus on regional deterrence and defence.

  • +2
· August 8, 2023
United States Studies Centre
In The Media
in the media
Smooth Sailing in the Indo-Pacific, and Strategic Mapping in the Indian Ocean

A discussion on the importance of viewing the Indian Ocean region as one continuous theater, and the emergence of China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Russia as players in the region.

· July 16, 2023
ASPI Podcast: Policy, Guns & Money
Mapping the Indian Ocean: Australia Launch Event
June 16, 2023

Join Tim Watts, MP, Dr. Corlyn Bull, and Darshana M. Baruah for a conversation about Phase II of the Indian Ocean Interactive Map.

Mapping the Indian Ocean Region

The Indian Ocean region’s importance to global trade, geopolitical competition, and maritime security is growing. Understanding its key players, regional organizations, and challenges is critical to crafting policy toward the region.

Climate Security in the Indo-Pacific: A Conversation with Pacific Island Ambassadors
June 13, 2023

As conversations and research on Pacific Islands take on a new significance within policy discussions and international collaborations, it is a great privilege to hear from and understand the issues of priorities, perspectives, and urgency within the Pacific Island nations.

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