Tarun Chhabra is a fellow with the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. Previously, he served on the National Security Council (NSC) staff as director for strategic planning (2016-2017) and director for human rights and national security issues (2015-2016). Chhabra played leading roles coordinating the planning and execution of the NSC staff component of the presidential transition, and developing policies related to the protection of civilians and transparency surrounding U.S. counterterrorism operations. He also contributed to policy processes related to U.S. security assistance, autonomous weapon systems, detention and interrogation, and signals intelligence reform. Prior to his tenure at the White House, he worked at the Pentagon as a speechwriter to Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and Ash Carter (2013-2015). Chhabra also has served as a consultant-advisor to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, and worked at the United Nations in the Executive Office of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and as a staff researcher for Annan’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change.
Chhabra has a law degree from Harvard, a Master of Philosophy in international relations from Oxford University, and a bachelor’s from Stanford University. He was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford and a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans at Harvard. He has also held a Harvard Law School Heyman Fellowship and a Graduate Fellowship at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.