Siddharth Mohandas is a director in the Geopolitical Advisory business at Lazard and a non-resident senior associate with the Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Mohandas served from 2021 to 2023 as the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia. During his tenure, the United States made historic advances in defense relations with key allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, including the most significant strengthening of U.S. force posture in Japan and Australia in decades, securing the landmark AUKUS agreement, significantly enhancing U.S. extended deterrence commitments to the Republic of Korea, completing the first-ever defense cooperation agreement with Papua New Guinea, and making major progress in operationalizing U.S.-Japan-ROK and U.S.-Japan-Australia trilateral cooperation. Dr. Mohandas has also served as principal deputy director of the secretary of state's Policy Planning Staff, where he advised the secretary of state on policy priorities for the State Department. In the private sector, Dr. Mohandas was director of research and a principal at the Asia Group. He has served as an editor for Foreign Affairs and written for multiple publications, including Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, and the American Prospect. He held fellowships at the Brookings Institution, the Center for a New American Security, and the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard. He holds a PhD in government from Harvard University, an MPhil in international relations from Cambridge University, and an AB summa cum laude from Harvard College.

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