Seema Gahlaut joins the Stimson Center’s Trade, Technology, and Security Program

August 14, 2018

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2018
Contact: Audel Shokohzadeh, [email protected], 202-478-3419

Washington, DC — The Stimson Center welcomes Seema Gahlaut as a Senior Fellow with the Center’s Trade, Technology, and Security program. The program examines the growing intersection of trade and security, and provides practical recommendations to government and corporate stakeholders on addressing the security challenges and harnessing the economic opportunities arising from trade in dual-use and emerging technologies

“As the technology supply chain grows more complex, we need to engage with a diverse set of stakeholders to develop common regulatory standards and best practices,” says Rachel Stohl, Managing Director of the Center’s Promoting Security and Prosperity Initiative. “Seema brings rich experience working with industry, academia, NGOs, and governments to navigate challenging regulatory environments around the world.”

In addition to her role as Senior Fellow, Gahlaut will also lead a diverse team of global trade specialists including Michael Beck, Scott Jones, and Anupam Srivastava. Leveraging in-house expertise within Stimson, this new team will widen the aperture of existing analysis and capacity building on technology trade and security policy.

“Led by Seema, the addition of these four globally renowned experts puts Stimson in a leading position to help governments, industry and other stakeholders better understand and capitalize on the positive synergies that exist between the need to secure the global supply chain and the equally important goal of benefitting from it,” said Brian Finlay, President and CEO of the Stimson Center. “No other organization is better placed to provide that level of policy advice and support.”

“I am very excited to join the Stimson Center because of its commitment to innovation and pragmatism,” said Seema Gahlaut. “Stimson has a deep history and is widely respected for its technical expertise in the nonproliferation field and I look forward to working with Brian, Rachel and the entire Stimson team to promote strategic trade control analysis, training, and outreach.”

Prior to joining the Stimson Center, Seema Gahlaut directed the training and outreach program at the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade and Security from 2006 to 2017. She is one of the founding members of the Export Control Experts Group within the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). She has conducted research and provided technical inputs on Strategic Trade Management to regulatory agencies in over 30 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Strategic Trade Management Workshop

Within the Trade, Technology, and Security Program, Dr. Seema Gahlaut has launched the Strategic Trade Management project.

As part of its early efforts, the project has organized a two-day workshop in Mumbai, India on August 23-24, 2018. The workshop, on best practices for regulating chemicals trade, is sponsored by the US Department of Energy, three of whose experts will join Stimson experts (Dr. Anupam Srivastava and Dr. Seema Gahlaut) for the training. From the Indian side, this program has received high level support from the Ministry of External Affairs, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (part of Ministry of Commerce & Industry), Department of Revenue Intelligence, various units of the Indian Customs, and National Authority – Chemical Weapons Convention. This effort is supported from the industry side by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) – India’s oldest and largest industry association – and ICC (Indian Chemical Council). 

The first day of the workshop is designed for the chemical sector companies in India, both domestic enterprises as well as Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies. The primary objective is to inform the companies of their enhanced obligations stemming from India joining the Australia Group (on January 19, 2018), in addition to their existing compliance requirements under India’s long-standing membership of the CWC. The AG, among others, tightly regulates exports of select precursor chemicals and equipment, with a view to blocking supplies to chemical weapons programs of proliferation concern globally. A related objective is to learn from the industry if any procedural steps by the government ought to be simplified that will facilitate its ability to fulfil its compliance obligations.

The second day of the workshop is designed exclusively for mid-to-senior level officers across various units of the Indian Customs. The presentations and discussion will include specific online tools to augment India’s existing cargo screening of suspect shipments, incorporating additional content to the curriculum currently offered under the Customs training academies, and how to further strengthen US-India collaboration on enforcement of strategic trade in dual-use, toxic, hazardous, and other classes of regulated chemicals.    

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The Stimson Center is a nonpartisan policy research center working to protect people, preserve the planet, and promote security and prosperity.

To stay up-to-date on the Trade, Technology, and Security Program please visit the program webpage here