Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Raji Rajagopalan is the Distinguished Fellow & Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation.

Dr. Rajagopalan joined ORF after a five-year stint at the National Security Council Secretariat (2003-2007), where she was an Assistant Director. Prior to joining the NSCS, she was Research Officer at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. She was also a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Politics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan in 2012. She is the author of four books and multiple research articles in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals. She is also the senior Asia defence writer for The Diplomat.

Dr. Rajagopalan has lectured at Indian military and policy institutions such as the Defence Service and Staff College (Wellington), National Defence College (New Delhi), Army War College (Mhow), and the Foreign Service Institute (New Delhi). She has also been invited to speak at international fora including the UN COPUOS (Vienna), Conference on Disarmament (Geneva), UNIDIR (Geneva), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the European Union. She is also the Technical Advisor for a new UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) (July 2018-July 2019). 


1300: The Promise and Challenges of New Actors in Space

The last decade has seen a surge in new actors entering the space domain. Many more countries are developing space programs and national law and policy while commercial startups are leveraging cheaper and better technology to do more with less. Some cheer these trends for their promise of better capabilities, services, and benefits, while others voice concerns about their sustainability and impact on the space environment. What are the benefits of the surge in new actors and what should we be wary of? What steps can the world take to ensure new actors are contributing to space sustainability?| Moderator: Ian Christensen, SWF


  • Jim Armor, Northrop Grumman

  • Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Observer Research Foundation

  • Simonetta di Pippo, OOSA