India on the Hill: Charting a Future for Indo-U.S. Relations

Event Asia
Event Asia

September 19, 2019 India on the Hill: Charting a Future for Indo-U.S. Relations

A two-day program on September 18 and 19

Co-hosted by

The Observer Research Foundation

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

The Heritage Foundation

214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC


Wednesday, September 18th and Thursday, September 19th
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

On September 18 and 19, 2019, The Heritage Foundation is partnering with the prominent independent Indian think tank, the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) to host a two-day event at Heritage entitled India on the Hill: Charting a Future for Indo-U.S. Relations.

By 2030, India and the US will rank amongst the largest democratic economies in the world—a development that will further elevate the importance of this relationship for international peace and stability. India and the US already share a preference for a free, open and liberal international system — values that underpin cooperation on a wide range of issues—ranging from Indo-Pacific security to counter-terrorism and defense collaboration. Nevertheless, the two countries also confront differences on trade, technology, and India’s extant energy and security relationships that must be resolved. “India on the Hill” will attempt to support this rapidly maturing bilateral partnership by untangling existing differences and advancing shared strategic interests.

India on the Hill will feature participation and keynote addresses from Members of India’s Parliament, Members of the U.S. Congress, and key Indian and American leaders from government, industry, and academia to formulate a roadmap for joint leadership of the international order in the 21st century.

~ Followed by a light lunch ~

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Terms and Conditions of Attendance


VIP Speakers:

  • Manish Tewari, Member of Parliament, India
  • Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL), U.S. House of Representatives
  • Harsh Shringla, Ambassador of India to the U.S.
  • Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA), U.S. House of Representatives
  • Priyanka Chaturvedi, Deputy Leader, Shiv Sena


9:00 AM Welcome Address:

Samir Saran, Observer Research Foundation 

James Carafano, The Heritage Foundation

9:15 AM Keynote 1: U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL)

9:45AM-11:00 AM Panel 1: India-U.S. relations and the New Security Paradigm

  • Major General Michael A. Minihan,Chief of Staffof Headquarters, U.S.INDO-PACOM
  • Harsh Shringla, Ambassador of India to the U.S.
  • Sunjoy Joshi, Chairman, Observer Research Foundation
  • Lindsey Ford, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Brookings Institution (Moderator)

The security architecture of the extant international order is unable to keep pace with shifts in the balance of power. The 21st century will require new frameworks, institutions and partnerships to maintain international security. As two powers with similar normative values, and similar interests in multiple geographies, especially the Indo-Pacific, India and the U.S. are well placed to ideate and support a new international security framework. This panel will explore new avenues for cooperation between India and the US and debate how best to avoid possible friction. It will ask how India and the U.S. can shape a new security order. 

11:00 AM-11:15 AM Tea/Coffee Break

11:15 AM Keynote 2: Manish Tewari, Member of Parliament, India

11:45 AM-1:00 PM Panel 2: Confronting the New India-U.S. “Trade Normal”

  • Ajit Mohan, Managing Director, Facebook India
  • Rick Rossow, Senior Adviser & Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies, CSIS
  • Ila Patnaik, Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP)
  • Walter Lohman, Director, Asia Studies Centre, The Heritage Foundation (Moderator)

The India-U.S. relationship confronts two interrelated trends in the specter of economic nationalism and the digitization of the global economy. Consequently, there is tension about the role of data and technology in economic growth, development and trade. These are structural trends, and navigating the friction they produce will require long term thinking about the role of the India-US partnership in sustaining an open and free digital economy. This panel will examine the root political and economic causes of existing differences and will identify policy measures to alleviate tensions and provide a long-term road map for India-U.S. consensus on the global digital economy. 

1:00-2:30 PM Private lunch at Heritage: India-U.S. Defense Cooperation: What does “Major Defense Partner” mean?

*By Invitation Only*

2:30PM-04:00 PM Private Roundtable 1: Recent Developments in Afghanistan and their implications for South Asian stability

*By Invitation Only*


9:00AM Keynote 3: Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA), U.S. House of Representatives 

9:30AM-11:00AM Panel 3: Geotech: When Technology Implicates Geopolitics

Governments around the world intuitively understand that dominating future technologies will translate into political, economic and military power. How can the India-U.S. strategic relationship create a competitive advantage for both countries moving forward?How do we manage the de-coupling innovation systems, the introduction of new export controls, and the contest for leadership in breakthrough technologies? How do we grapple with new national security threats from technology firms operating under the rules and regulations of authoritarian governments?

  • Sean Kanuck, Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation
  • Samir Saran, President, Observer Research Foundation
  • Klon Kitchen, Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
  • Vivek Lall, Vice President, Lockheed Martin
  • Kara Fredrick, Associate Fellow, Center for a New American Security (Moderator)

11:00-11:15 AM Tea/Coffee Break 

11:15 AM Keynote 4: TBA*

11:45-1:00 PM Panel 4: Navigating U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities and Sanctions

The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the “Iran Nuclear Deal,” its imposition of Iran oil sanctions, its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord,and the passage of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) represent a shift in U.S. foreign policy with policy implications for India. This panel will explore, how some of these decisions have affected the conduct of Indian foreign and security policy and explore ways to bridge differences.

  • Dhruva Jaishankar, Fellow, Observer Research Foundation
  • Suhasini Haidar, Diplomatic Editor, The Hindu
  • Jeff M. Smith, Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
  • Nisha Biswal, President, U.S.-India Business Council (Moderator)

1:00-2:30 PM Private lunch at Heritage: An update on the China-India-U.S. strategic triangle with special remarks from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tom Vajda.

*By Invitation Only*

2:30-4:00 PM Private Roundtable 2: Multilateral Defense Architectures and the Rules Based Order

*By Invitation Only*