Rajendra M. Abhyankar

Professor of Practice of Diplomacy and Public Affairs

(812) 856-2387
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Curriculum Vitae


  • Doctoral candidate, University of Pune, India
  • M.A. in Economics, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 1966
  • B.A. in Economics, St. Stephens College, University of Delhi, 1964


  • The Art of Diplomacy (Undergraduate)
  • Capstone Course for Graduate Students
  • The Practice of Diplomacy (Graduate)


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, its practice and multiple dimensions. 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 O'Neill he has initiated collaboration between educational institutions in India and with other countries.

Ambassador Abhyankar is a frequent speaker on international affairs at universities and think-tanks around the world and contributes regularly to newspapers and journals in international issues. He speaks French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, and Arabic in addition to four Indian languages.


  • Indian diplomatic service spanning 37 years: Ambassador to Syria, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Belgium, European Union, Luxembourg and European Union
  • Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India
  • Director and Professor, Centre for West Asian Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

In the News

Selected Works

  • Indian Diplomacy: Beyond Strategic Autonomy, OUP India (2018)
  • "Afghanistan after the 2014 U.S. Drawdown,"Asian Survey, Vol. 55, No. 2 (March/April 2015) (pp. 371-397)
  • The Battlefield of Peace: A Politico-Military Account of the United Nations Peace-keeping in Congo, 1961-63 (with M.G. Abhyankar). New Delhi: GB Books (2014)
  • Sri Lanka-India: Future Imperfect (with Shrikant Paranjpe). New Delhi: GB Books (2014)
  • The Crossing, a Novel. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse (2013)
  • Stuff Happens, an Anecdotal Insight into Indiana Diplomacy. New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications (2013)
  • The Evolution and Future of India-Israel Relations. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies (2012) 
  • West Asia and the Region: Defining India’s Role. New Delhi: Academic Publishers (2008)
  • “India’s West Asia policy: Search for a middle ground," Indian Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities (Atish Sinha & Madhup Mohta, eds.). New Delhi: Academic Foundation (2007)
  • "India and the European Union: Non-associable to strategic partner," Indian Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities (Atish Sinha & Madhup Mohta, Eds.). New Delhi: Academic Foundation (2007)
  • Reviving the Silk Route: Azerbaijan: Case for a ‘Look East’ Policy. Baku, Azerbaijan: UNDP (for restricted circulation-2007)
  • Manual of Instructions for India’s Commercial Representatives Abroad (with Anwar ul Hoda) New Delhi: Ministry of Commerce, Government of India (1995)