At the time of his 2005 retirement, Ambassador Rajendra Abhyankar was India’s Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg. His professional career includes 37 years of Indian diplomacy, serving as Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Syria, and Turkey, High Commissioner to Cyprus, and Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. He has also been India’s Consul General in San Francisco.
Since then, Ambassador Abhyankar has been working in the areas of academics, corporate philanthropy, consulting, and international Track II dialogues. He was director of the Centre for West Asian (Middle East) Studies and professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi; director and adviser for The Asia Foundation’s program in India; and president of the Hinduja Foundation in Mumbai.
Ambassador Abhyankar’s affiliation with Indiana University began in 2011 as a diplomat-in-residence at the Center for American and Global Security. His research interests include international relations and diplomacy. He is the author of two books and three monographs including Stuff Happens: An Anecdotal Insight into Indian Diplomacy. He has also co-authored three books on Indian foreign policy of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the Congo. He is currently researching two books on Indian diplomacy and on Syria.
Ambassador Abhyankar holds positions on a number of philanthropic and charitable foundations. He is chair of the Kunzru Centre for Defense Studies and Research, Pune, India. While at SPEA he has initiated collaboration between educational institutions in India and with other countries.