Elizabeth Threlkeld

Senior Fellow and Director

South Asia

Elizabeth Threlkeld is a Senior Fellow and Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center. Before joining Stimson, she served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State in Islamabad and Peshawar, Pakistan, and Monterrey, Mexico. Threlkeld previously worked in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, where she managed development interventions on gender-based violence and ethno-sectarian reconciliation. She has additional work and educational experience in China, Taiwan, and Turkey, and began her career with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.

Threlkeld holds an MPhil in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cambridge, where she received the Hilda Richardson Studentship from Newnham College. In her dissertation, she analyzed political and security dynamics driving the development of governance reforms in Pakistan’s western border region. She received a B.A. with High Honors in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College.

Her research interests include South Asian geopolitics, ethno-nationalist conflict, and territorial disputes. She is the recipient of a Department of State Superior Honor Award, several Meritorious Honor Awards, and the Matilda W. Sinclaire Language Award. She speaks Pashto, Mandarin, and Spanish.

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Analysis of emerging domestic political, institutional economic, and socio-cultural dynamics and consequences for regional relations and security behaviors.

In-depth analysis of evolving grand strategies, competitive behaviors, and strategic alignments in the Indo-Pacific

Reducing nuclear dangers and fostering strategic stability on the Subcontinent

Research & Writing
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Toward a Mature Defense Partnership: Insights from a U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue

The U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue convened Indian and American national security experts to offer insight on strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

Press Release
Elizabeth Threlkeld Appointed Director of South Asia Program

Deputy Director, former diplomat, takes helm in planned transition

Afghanistan’s new, uncertain chapter

Ep. 86 originally published on Defense One Radio

The Limits of Leverage in Taliban-Led Afghanistan

Originally published in Lawfare.

Pakistan-Taliban Ties After the Fall of Kabul

This podcast was originally published on War on the Rocks

Afghanistan-Pakistan Ties and Future Stability in Afghanistan

This report was supported by the Asia Center at the United States Institute of Peace.

Measured, Incremental Change in South Asia

An Interview with Elizabeth Threlkeld, Deputy Director of the South Asia Program

China’s Eurasian Ambitions

This piece was originally published in a roundtable in Asia Policy 15.3.

Mission Accomplished? Balancing U.S. Interests and Future Challenges in Afghanistan

This article was originally published in South Asian Voices.

Reading Between the Lines of Afghan Agreements

Originally published in Lawfare.

Policy Paper
From Kargil to Balakot: Southern Asian Crisis Dynamics and Future Trajectories

Two decade review: South Asia crises will likely escalate further & faster as escalation pressure and crisis management challenges grow

Stimson in the News
Pakistan protest leader Manzoor Pashteen arrested on conspiracy charges

A civil rights campaigner who has challenged Pakistan’s powerful military by raising a protest movement against alleged army abuses has been arrested. Manzoor Pashteen was held in the early hours of Monday, with police saying he was wanted on charges i…

Press Release
STATEMENT: India’s election results show shift in Indian Politics, impacting Indian national security and foreign policy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/24/2019 CONTACT Caiti Goodman, 202.478.3437 (O), 202.361.0254 (C), [email protected] Statement: India’s election results show shift in Indian Politics, impacting India’s national security and foreign policy Prime Mi…

Stimson in the News
Elizabeth Threlkeld quoted in article about why the US has continued to fight in Afghanistan

Why The U.S. Has Continued To Fight In Afghanistan RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Eighteen years into fighting the nation’s longest war, the U.S. is trying to find an exit ramp for the 14,000 troops still in Afghanistan. Here’s President Trump earlier this week…

Press Release
Sameer Lalwani Appointed Director, Elizabeth Threlkeld Deputy Director of Growing South Asia Program

For Immediate Release Contact: Audel Shokohzadeh, [email protected], 202-478-3419 September 5, 2018 Washington, DC – The Stimson Center announces today that Sameer Lalwani has been appointed as the Director of the Stimson Center’s South Asia program an…

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