Speaker's Profile


Parag Khanna

Leading global strategist, world traveller and best-selling author Highly respected media commentator on international affairs Named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century”

Parag Khanna is the leading next-generation voice on the future of global affairs. Named one of Esquire magazine’s 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century and at the top of Wired magazine’s Smart List, Khanna was a foreign policy advisor to President Barack Obama during his historic presidential campaign. He is currently a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, the country’s most innovative think tank, where he directs the Roundtable on the Future of the World Economy and advises the US National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 program. He is also co-director of the Hybrid Reality Institute, a global advisory firm providing insight into the implications of emerging technologies.

Khanna is the author of the international bestseller The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition in the 21st Century (2009), which has been translated into 15 languages and led to The New York Times Book Review hailing Khanna as a “geopolitical whiz kid.” Fareed Zakaria, TIME editor and CNN host, describes The Second World as “a fascinating, colorful, and always intelligent tour through a new world.” In The Second World, Khanna heralded China’s arrival as a superpower, foresaw the political power of Asian and Arab state-capitalism and sovereign wealth funds, depicted the growth of today’s thriving cross-emerging market trade patterns, predicted that Egypt and the Arab world were “ripe for revolution,” and warned of the risks poor infrastructure pose to American competitiveness.

In his most recent book, How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011), Khanna provides a bold yet viable roadmap to establishing a more resilient world order, one that incorporates governments, cities, corporations, and civic communities into a dynamic diplomatic system. This “dizzyingly informed world tour” (Fortune) “makes the pulse race” (Economist). Nassim Taleb called the book “visionary,” and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt declared, “We need to pay attention to Parag’s ideas.”

Khanna has been hailed as a “21st-century Alvin Toffler-style global futurist” for his remarkably prescient predictions of geopolitical changes and crises, and his insights into game-changing economic and technological breakthroughs that transform the world’s balance of power. As director of the Hybrid Reality Institute, he develops leading-edge analyses of technology trends and their impact on socioeconomic life around the globe.

A visible voice in the political and social arenas, Khanna has been featured on CNN, BBC, PBS, Al Jazeera, CBS, and NPR. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, TIME, Forbes, Newsweek, Harvard Business Review, Businessweek, Foreign Policy, and many other print and online publications.

A noted adventurer, Khanna has traveled to more than 100 countries and speaks English, German, French, Spanish, Hindi, and basic Arabic, earning him recognition as one of the world’s most informed sociopolitical experts. He was honored in 2009 as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Khanna also attained a Master’s from Georgetown’s Security Studies Program and a PhD at the London School of Economics. Dr. Khanna is a distinguished visitor at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and has lectured widely at prominent universities around the world. He serves on the board of directors of Independent Diplomat and the New Cities Foundation, and on the advisory board of Ergo.


  • The New Geopolitical Marketplace
  • Re-Mapping the Global Economy
  • The Rise of Geo-Technology
  • Collective Leadership in a Turbulent Age


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