Atman Trivedi is a nonresident senior fellow at the South Asia Center and has over 20 years of foreign policy and trade experience with expertise in India and the broader Asia region. He currently works as managing director at Hills & Company, the firm led by Ambassadors Carla Hills and Tom Pickering, advising Fortune 500 U.S. businesses on trade, investment, commercial diplomacy, and politics with a focus on India, other Asian markets, and geopolitics.
Atman served as Senior Director for Policy in Global Markets at the U.S. Commerce Departmentunder President Obama. He played an important role on India matters, including leadership in the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue and re-imagined U.S.-India CEO Forum, and managed the development of comprehensive strategic plans in key markets with a focus on Asia. Earlier in the Administration, he was Chief of Staff in the U.S. State Department’s nonproliferation bureau. Atman was part of diplomatic teams that eliminated Syria’s declared chemical weapons, and addressed nonproliferation challenges in South Asia.
He worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) as Chairman John Kerry’s Counsel, leading his policy activities on India and Southeast Asia. Atman also regularly advised him on issues with China, Japan, and on the Korean Peninsula. Earlier, he served as Senator Kerry’s chief policy and legal adviser on defense and intelligence issues, leading his efforts to secure passage of the historic U.S.-India civil nuclear deal (as the relevant SFRC subcommittee chair).
Prior to government, Atman was an international trade lawyer at WilmerHale LLP. He counseledglobal businesses, and conducted investigations on trade policy and litigation, sanctions, export controls, anti-bribery/FCPA, and CFIUS matters. Early in his career, Atman worked as a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
He holds a B.A. in International Relations (minor in Economics) and M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University, and studied South Asian security at Oxford University. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School, where he was a Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review and shared the class prize in international law. His commentary has featured in leading U.S., Indian, and global newspapers and magazines.
Atman completed term membership at the Council on Foreign Relations and is an adjunct fellow at the Pacific Forum; a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations; and an AsiaSociety Asia 21 Fellow. He consulted with the United States Institute of Peace in 2019.