MAY 8, 2015

On May 8, 2015, Hudson Institute’s South and Central Asia department, in partnership with the Observer Research Foundation and the Office of the Gyalwang Drukpa hosted a half-day conference at the Peninsula Hotel in New York. The Future of the Himalayas conference aimed to provoke discussion about the area's strategic, environmental, and cultural importance, as well as the critical challenges facing the Himalayan region today.

The 1500-mile extension of the Himalayan mountain range occupies a critical geostrategic location traversing India, Bhutan, China, Nepal, and Pakistan. The Himalayas are a significant source of agriculture, energy, and tourism for the nations they occupy. Yet the region faces a number of security challenges including the disputed India-China border, the question of Tibet, and the illicit use of the border by drug and arms traffickers, insurgent groups, and terrorists.

The remote geography of the Himalayas contributes to the region's inadequate infrastructure, poor connectivity, shortage of industries, and lack of a viable service sector. These factors in turn have led to economic, environmental, and sociocultural problems. Various indigenous languages, cultures, and lifestyles are under threat from external influence and ideas, as in the case of Tibet. Further, rising unemployment, declining economic investment, and a high rate of emigration from the region have worsened the situation.


  • 9:15 am Registration

  • 9:45 - 10:15 am Keynote Session: HH the Gyalwang Drukpa, Ambassador Husain Haqqani

  • 10:30 - 11:30 am Climate, Economics, and Culture Session: Ashok Malik, J.M. Mauskar, Sunjoy Joshi, Kenneth Weinstein, HH the Gyalwang Drukpa

  • 11:40 - 12:40 pm Security and Politics Session: Amb. Husain Haqqani, Dr. C. Raja Mohan, Eric Brown, Samir Saran


  • His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, Spiritual leader of the Drukpa Lineage

  • Ambassador Husain Haqqani, Senior Fellow and Director for South and Central Asia, Hudson Institute

  • J.M. Mauskar, Advisor to the Director, Observer Research Foundation

  • Dr. Kenneth R. Weinstein, President & CEO, Hudson Institute

  • Dr. Arvind Gupta, National Head, Information and Technology, Bhartiya Janata Party

  • Dr. Sunjoy Joshi, Director, Observer Research Foundation

  • Dr. C. Raja Mohan, Head of Strategic Studies, Observer Research Foundation

  • Eric Brown, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

  • Ashok Malik, Columnist and Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation

  • Lewis Libby, Senior Vice President, Hudson Institute