Nilanthi Samaranayake leads CNA's research on Indian Ocean and South Asia security. Recently she has worked on U.S.-India naval cooperation, water resource competition in the Brahmaputra River basin, and Sri Lankan foreign policy. She also has conducted research on the navies of Bangladesh and Pakistan, the Maldives Coast Guard, security threats in the Bay of Bengal, and relations between smaller South Asian countries and China, India and the United States.
Prior to joining CNA, Samaranayake completed a fellowship at the National Bureau of Asian Research, where she investigated Sri Lanka's deepening ties with China. Her findings were published in the journal Asian Security. She also analyzed public opinion for a decade at the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.Samaranayake holds an M.Sc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
RECENT NEWSSeptember 11, 2018
Nilanthi Samaranayake says that China’s plans in the plantation sector are likely “to aid Sri Lanka’s goal of increasing its sagging exports through investment in the rubber industry.”
The Diplomat: “China Expands Its Footprint in Sri Lanka”August 10, 2018
“The two-day dialogue was a collaborative initiative between KDU and the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA), USA. This year’s Track 1.5 Dialogue focused on how bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the USA could be further improved in a variety of spheres and how the global security concerns are influencing the relations between the two countries.”
Daily News: “Lanka-U.S. Naval Cooperation Strengthens”
Kotelawala Defence University: 3rd Annual KDU-CNA DialogueJuly 18, 2018
Nilanthi Samaranayake writes in chapter 5, “The Indian Ocean is the lifeline of the world’s economy. Half of all container traffic transits this body of water, and 30% of the world’s trade flows through its ports.”
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation: “Policy Recommendations by the Quadripartite Commission on the Indian Ocean Regional Security”July 18, 2018
Nilanthi Samaranayake and Michael McDevitt participated in the International Conference on Security of the Indian Ocean Region and contributed to policy recommendations for a more stable security environment in the region.
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation: “Policy Recommendations by the Quadripartite Commission on the Indian Ocean Regional Security”June 8, 2018
War on the Rocks: “Doklam, One Year Later: China’s Long Game in the Himalayas”
The Future of U.S.-India Naval Relations
Water Resource Competition in the Brahmaputra River Basin: China, India, and Bangladesh
Improving U.S.-India HA/DR Coordination in the Indian Ocean (U)
U.S.-India Security Burden-Sharing? The Potential for Coordinated Capacity-Building in the Indian Ocean (U)
The Long Littoral Project: Bay of Bengal