Alyssa Ayres is senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Her engagement with India goes back to 1990 and has spanned the nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors. From 2010 to 2013, prior to coming to CFR, she served in the Obama administration as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia, covering a dynamic region of 1.3 billion people (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, and Bhutan), and providing policy direction and support for four U.S. embassies and four consulates.
She is the author of Our Time Has Come: How India Is Making Its Place in the World, published by Oxford University Press.. Kirkus has called it “a wonderfully detailed look at India today.”
Alyssa’s book on nationalism, culture, and politics in Pakistan, Speaking Like a State, was published worldwide by Cambridge University Press and received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies book prize for 2011-2012.
She has been awarded numerous fellowships, and received four group or individual Superior Honor Awards for work at the State Department. Fluent in Hindi and Urdu, she worked as an interpreter for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jammu and Kashmir. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and earned an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago.