Shanthi Kalathil


About Shanthi Kalathil

Shanthi Kalathil is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy. She is also founder and principal at MDO Advisors, which helps organizations plan for geopolitical risk, and a senior fellow with the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. Under President Biden, Kalathil served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights at the National Security Council, where she oversaw the organization of the inaugural Summit for Democracy and the development of the first US Strategy on Countering Corruption, among other initiatives. Previously, she was the senior director of the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading think tank exploring such emerging challenges to democracy as digital authoritarianism, foreign interference, disinformation and kleptocracy. Throughout her career, she has focused on the intersection of technology, good governance, and international affairs, at organizations including the US Agency for International Development, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the World Bank. A former Hong Kong-based reporter for the Asian Wall Street Journal, Kalathil has authored and edited numerous policy and scholarly publications including Diplomacy, Development and Security in the Information Age (Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University, 2013); Developing Independent Media as an Institution of Accountable Governance (The World Bank, 2011); and (with Taylor C. Boas) Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003), which was cited by Foreign Policy as one of “Ten Books To Learn How Technology Shapes the World”. She sits on the boards of Radio Free Asia and the National Democratic Institute and holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
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