Nilanthi Samaranayake
Research Scientist

BIOGRAPHY

Nilanthi Samaranayake's research focuses on South Asia and Indian Ocean 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 NEWS

June 8, 2018

Nilanthi Samaranayake and Satu Limaye write, “China can pursue its ‘long game’ in the Himalayas because India, for both military and diplomatic reasons, hasn’t pushed back hard.”

War on the Rocks: “Doklam, One Year Later: China’s Long Game in the Himalayas”

May 4, 2018

Eric Thompson, Rear Adm. Michael McDevitt, Satu Limaye, Nilanthi Samaranayake, and Adm. William Fallon attend a bilateral discussion on power-plays and responses of the U.S., China, India, and Japan within the Indo-Pacific.

National Maritime Foundation: 9th NMF-CNA Bilateral Dialogue

March 16, 2018

Nilanthi Samaranayake "noted, France has a range of territorial, economic, and security interests in the Indian Ocean."

Pell Center: "Rehman on the Indian Ocean in France's Global Defense Strategy"

March 7, 2018

Michael McDevitt, Catherine Lea, Douglas Jackson, and Nilanthi Samaranayake participated in the 5th Annual RSIS-CNA Workshop on East Asian Maritime Issues in Singapore.

RSIS: "Indo-Pacific Maritime Issues: Connectivity, Balance and Cooperation"

January 31, 2018

Nilanthi Samaranayake says, “Smaller Indian Ocean countries are getting sucked into a discourse about strategic competition. We’re increasingly seeing the politicization of infrastructure, especially in maritime domain.”

American Center New Delhi: Panel Discussion on Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific

January 18, 2018

At a CNA roundtable, Nilanthi Samaranayake and Mary Ellen Connell discussed France's strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region with Dr. Iskander Rehman of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy.

CNA: “CNA Roundtable Proceedings: France’s Strategic Interests in the Indian Ocean”