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.

Ambassador Schaffer created a South Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and directed it from 1998-2010. Her most recent book is India at the Global High Table: The Quest for Regional Primacy and Strategic Autonomy (2016).  How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States: Riding the Roller Coaster was published in 2011. She co-wrote both of these with her late husband, Ambassador Howard B. Schaffer.  She is also the author of India and the U.S. in the 21st Century: Reinventing Partnership, published in 2009. Earlier writings included Pakistan’s Future and U.S. Policy Options (2004); India at the Crossroads: Confronting the Challenge of HIV/AIDS (2004) and a series of other studies on HIV and public health issues in India; and two studies on women in development in Bangladesh (1985).

Ambassador Schaffer received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. She did graduate work in economics at Georgetown University. She speaks Hindi, Urdu, French, Swedish, German, and Italian; and has studied Bangla and Sinhala.

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