- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

New Fellows Pandith and Ramesh Enrich Dialogue on Critical Issues from Extremism to Climate Change

| Fall/Winter 2014 - 2015

Farah Pandith, America’s first special representative to Muslim communities, joined the Belfer Center this fall as a Fisher Family Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project and as a senior fellow with the Middle East Initiative. Pandith served also in both the State Department and National Security Council, working on Middle East policy and initiatives.

Pandith was appointed the first-ever special representative to Muslim communities in June 2009 by then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Prior to this appointment, she was senior advisor to the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. She served as the director for Middle East regional initiatives for the National Security Council, where she was responsible for coordinating U.S. policy on “Muslim World” outreach and the broader Middle East North Africa initiative. In these roles she launched several first-of-a-kind initiatives focused on Muslim millennials, including Europe’s first pan-European Muslim professional network, Generation Change, Viral Peace, and the Transatlantic Leadership Network.

At Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), Pandith leads a series of study groups for students and fellows focusing on the language and tools of extremism and on the shifting national security paradigms since 9/11. Pandith’s work at the Belfer Center and HKS focuses on preventing recruitment of young people to terrorist networks.

Jairam Ramesh, a member of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh, India, and a leader in international climate negotiations, joined the Belfer Center this fall as a 2014 Fisher Family Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project. While at Harvard, Ramesh has made a number of presentations and works closely with the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements. He shares his insights on climate change negotiations with study groups at the School.

Ramesh was chief negotiator for India at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has long been a leading figure in international climate diplomacy. He has held numerous high-level government posts in India, including as cabinet minister for rural development and union minister of state for environment and forests.

In a “Conversation in Diplomacy” podcast with Future of Diplomacy Project Director Nicholas Burns, Ramesh discussed the issues of equity and commitment in international climate change negotiations as well as Indian responses to poverty. He examined the Indian, Chinese, and American responses to carbon emission reductions, and the lack of Indian action. He also emphasized the importance of the U.S. and China in creating a “broad framework of action” at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: New Fellows Pandith and Ramesh Enrich Dialogue on Critical Issues from Extremism to Climate Change.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Fall/Winter 2014 - 2015).