Vikram J. Singh is Senior Advisor, Defense and Aerospace, at the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum. Singh has been a leader of innovation and transformation in public policy and global affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of State, and major non-profits. His company, Red Cedar Global Strategies, advises government, corporate and civil society clients on policy and technology challenges, program design, and risk across Asia. He is currently Senior Advisor for Asia at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Senior Fellow for National Security, Democracy and Technology and the Center for American Progress (CAP). From 2012 to 2014, Singh was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia. He helped transform American policy in the region, running successful negotiations over U.S. military access with Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore and developing new defense arrangements with New Zealand and Vietnam. His team conceived of and ran the U.S. – India Defense Trade and Technology Initiative and developed plans for the Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative.
Singh was Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Department of State until 2011, where he developed a political-military strategy for reconciliation efforts to end the war. He represented the United States with China, India, Russia, Middle Eastern partners, the U.N., and NATO countries on political, military and economic issues related to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
From 2014 to 2017, Singh was CAP’s Vice President for National Security, where he established CAP’s Asia program and launched work on nuclear security, a major task for on U.S – India relations, and a new program on defending the internet as a force for democracy. He led CAP’s partnership with the American Enterprise Institute on democracy and the transatlantic alliance
Singh has wide experience across defense, having served as the first defense Fellow at the Center for a New American Security from 2007 to 2009 after several years at the Pentagon, where he was the first director for partnership strategy. He helped develop and secure passage by Congress of several legal authorities for global defense partnerships. He also served at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and chaired the DoD missile technology working group for the “Next Steps in the Strategic Partnership” with India. Prior to joining DoD, Singh ran a five-country Ford Foundation program on South Asia. He also reported on the Sri Lankan civil war for the Voice of America.
Singh was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service in 2012 and Department of State Superior Honor Awards in 2006 and 2012. He is a Fellow of Columbia University and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University. Singh publishes widely, from the Washington Post to Foreign Affairs, and is a highly sought out speaker and commentator on television and radio. He lives with his family and some horses, cows, chickens and about two hundred thousand bees on a small farm in northern Virginia.