Focus areas: International relations of South Asia, Indian Ocean maritime security, India-China relations, identity and foreign policy

Deepa Ollapally is a Visiting Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, specializing in regional security of South Asia, Indian foreign policy and the role of identity in international relations. Her current research focuses on maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the impact of regional power shifts and the intersection of security and identity in India-China relations.

Professor Ollapally directs a major research program that examines the role of domestic identities in the foreign policy debates of aspiring powers in Asia under The Rising Powers Initiative at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She has published three books from this research stream as co-editor and  contributing author including Worldviews of Aspiring Powers: Domestic Foreign Policy Debates in China, India, Iran, Japan and Russia (Oxford University , 2012), Nuclear Debates in Asia: The Role of Geopolitics and Domestic Processes ( Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), and Energy Security in Asia and Eurasia (Routledge, 2017).  Her previous book The Politics of Extremism in South Asia was published by Cambridge University Press in 2008.

She has held senior positions at think tanks in the US and India, setting up the first strategic studies program at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore, India and serving as South Asia specialist at the US Institute of Peace. She has also taught at Swarthmore College and Georgetown University.

She has won numerous grants from the MacArthur Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation, The Asia Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation for her work. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.