Celebrating India@75 – India: A Global Actor in the Geopolitical Arena



Celebrating India@75

The Embassy of India, The Brussels Diplomatic Academy & The Policy Center for the New South

are pleased to invite you to a Webinar:


Tuesday, May 11, 2021 | 2.00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. CET Brussels         (GMT+2)


H.E. Mr. Santosh Jha, Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU


Ambassador, Dr. Len Ishmael, Global Affairs, Brussels Diplomatic Academy, Senior Fellow Policy Center for the New South.


Join the Embassy of India, the Brussels Diplomatic Academy, the Policy Center for the New South and our guests for a wide-ranging Webinar on May 11, 2021 on the topic “India: A Global Actor in the Geopolitical Arena.” The webinar is part of a series of important public diplomacy events in celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. The webinar explores a series of vital questions including India’s role on the world stage, the country as an actor in the Indo-Pacific Theatre, its relationship with Africa, the USA & China, and initiatives at vaccine diplomacy and experience in weathering the Covid19 Pandemic.


The discussion will be broadcast live via the Policy Center for the New South’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, with live coverage on Twitter.

Please contact delia.barbu@vub.be with any questions.


BIO: Ambassador H.E. Mr. Santosh Jha

Ambassador Santosh Jha assumed the position of Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union on 17 July 2020.Prior to coming to Brussels, he was Ambassador of India in Uzbekistan from July 2019 to July 2020. Earlier, from July 2017 to June 2019, he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC with a personal rank of Ambassador. Ambassador Jha also has the pleasure of serving at the Indian Embassy in Brussels earlier from 2010 to 2013, when he was the Deputy Chief of Mission. During this time, he also had the distinction of serving as Charge d’ Affaires from January to September 2012.

Between 2013 and 2017, Ambassador Jha headed several Divisions in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). From July 2013 to September 2014, he headed the MEA Division for Human Resources and Management Affairs. From October 2014 to April 2015, he headed the MEA Division for relations with Western Europe and the European Union.From April 2015 to July 2017, he headed MEA’s Policy Planning Division, in which capacity he helped rebuild the Division into an institution capable of responding to India’s growing global engagements. During this time, he was also closely associated with formulation of key Indian foreign policy initiatives and for establishment of a number of strategic dialogue forums, most notably the globally reputed RAISINA Dialogue in New Delhi. During this period, Ambassador Jha also handled matters related to Counter Terrorism and Cyber Security, and in 2016-17, represented India at the meeting of UN Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Development in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the context of International Security.

In addition to the above, Ambassador Jha has served in different capacities at Delhi (2004-2007) and at Indian Missions in Moscow (1995-1998), Vladivostok (1998-2000), New York (2000-2004), and Colombo (2007-2010). Between 2004 and 2007, assigned to the Americas Division of the MEA, Ambassador Jha served as a member of the negotiating team for the India-US nuclear agreement and was closely associated with the development of India-US relations, in particular, in the fields of space, nuclear, defense and high technology. Ambassador Jha has the experience of serving as a member of negotiating teams for Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Sri Lanka and the European Union respectively. He is also credited with helping erect the architecture for development cooperation between India and Sri Lanka following the end of civil conflict in that country in 2009. Ambassador Jha holds a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Delhi. He speaks English, Russian, Hindi and Maithili. He is married with a daughter and a son.

BIO: Ambassador Dr. Len Ishmael

Dr. Ishmael is the Advisor Global Affairs of the Brussels Diplomatic Academy of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She is a Commissioner on the Lancet Commission for Covid-19. Dr. Ishmael is a German Marshall Fund Fellow and Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South and a visiting Professor at the Mohammed 6 University, Morocco as well as at the VUB. She is the former Ambassador of the Eastern Caribbean States to the Kingdom of Belgium and EU and past President of the 79-member African, Caribbean & Pacific (ACP) Committee of Ambassadors in Brussels. She was the Director & Head of the Regional Headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean; Director General of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, Alternate Governor of the World Bank and Director for the Foundation: Leadership for Environment & Development of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City. She is The Fletcher School’s Tufts University GMAP Endowment Fellow and member of The Fletcher School’s GMAP Advisory Council. She was an expert witness at the House of Lord’s inquiry into Commonwealth efforts post Brexit to lift countries out of poverty through trade.

She is the author of several publications on global politics and international relations. Dr. Ishmael was conferred a Doctoral Degree in Development Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, a Global Master of Arts from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Master of Arts in Urban Planning from City University of New York and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of the West Indies. She was bestowed the Order of Merit of the Kingdom of Spain by HM King Carlos for her efforts in building the Spanish-Caribbean relationship.