Shanthi A. Kalathil


Adjunct Faculty - Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT)
Adjunct Lecturer


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
General profile




Shanthi Kalathil is an adviser, consultant and speaker on development, democratization and the role of technology in international affairs. She is co-author of Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule, a widely cited work that examined the Internet and political transition in eight authoritarian contexts. Kalathil has extensive experience advising the U.S. government, international organizations and nonprofits on the policy and programmatic aspects of supporting civil society, independent media, technology, transparency and accountability. In addition to recent work evaluating the effectiveness of global good governance programs, she has co-directed a project examining global leaders’ use of social media and is currently developing an interdisciplinary, international network of development, communication and freedom of expression experts.

Previously a senior Democracy Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development, a non-resident Associate at Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and a regular consultant for the World Bank, the Aspen Institute and others, she has authored or edited numerous policy and scholarly publications, including the edited volume Diplomacy, Development and Security in the Information Age (Georgetown University, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy), and Developing Independent Media as an Institution of Accountable Governance (The World Bank). A former Hong Kong-based staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal Asia, Kalathil is a member of the Advisory Board to the National Endowment for Democracy's Center for International Media Assistance. She has taught courses on international relations in the information age at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Georgetown University.

Kalathil holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is fluent in Mandarin.


  • Chinese (speak, read)