Teresita C. Schaffer

Teresita C. Schaffer is an expert on economic, political, security and risk management trends in India and Pakistan, as well as on the region that extends from Afghanistan through Bangladesh. She is a Senior Adviser to McLarty Associates, a Washington-based international strategic advisory firm. She also teaches a course on Practicing Diplomacy Abroad at Georgetown.

In a 30-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Schaffer was recognized as one of the State Department’s leading experts on South Asia, where she spent a total of 11 years. Her other career focus was on international economic issues. She served in U.S. embassies in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, and from 1992-95 as U.S. Ambassador in Sri Lanka. During her assignments in the State Department in Washington, she was Director of the Office of International Trade and later Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East and South Asia, at that time the senior South Asia policy position in the State Department. Continue reading “Teresita C. Schaffer”

In Memoriam: Howard Schaffer: 1929-2017

Photo by TCSchaffer

February 20, 2018: Howard and I started South Asia Hand together in late 2010. We had both retired from the Foreign Service, having spent much of our careers working in or on South Asia. He introduced me to the region. We took great joy in the friends and colleagues who hailed from the region or had joined us in making it a career focus. We hoped to convey to the next generation of South Asia hands our passion, as well as the remarkable change in the region’s ties with the United States since we first got involved.


By that time, Howard was 81, and had earned the title of “elder statesman.” He was the family historian, but above all, he was the master story-teller. He wrote about his legendary diplomatic colleagues, about how his own love of words played out in the subcontinent, about what had gone right and wrong in the tangled Continue reading “In Memoriam: Howard Schaffer: 1929-2017”

Photo Credits

All homepage photos courtesy of Flickr users.

Paharganj street scene: camer_obscura [busy]

Mehndi hands in India: The.Rohit

Farmers in Pakistan: Oxfam International

Truck in Pakistan: powerplantop

Barbed wire in Pakistan: auweia

Rickshaw, river boat in Dhaka: P. Donovan

Swayambhu Temple: Subhakar Manandhar

Children on boat in Gagribal: M. Laazik

Kathmandu street scene, temple: Simon Johnson
Other photographs licensed under Creative Commons license unless specifically noted. 

Howard B. Schaffer

Howard B. Schaffer is a retired American Foreign Service officer who spent much of his 36-year career dealing with U.S. relations with South Asia. He is an adjunct professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  He previously served as ambassador to Bangladesh (1984-87), political counselor at American embassies in India (1977-79) and Pakistan (1974-77), and was twice deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for South Asian affairs. His earlier assignments included stints as director of the Office of Indian, Nepalese, and Sri Lankan Affairs and postings to New Delhi, Seoul, and Kuala Lumpur. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1991 and returned in 1995 to Washington from Sri Lanka, where his wife, Teresita C. Schaffer, was American ambassador. From 1996-2011 he was at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Continue reading “Howard B. Schaffer”