An expert on geopolitics, Parag Khanna, 31, is the Director of the Global Governance Initiative and a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation.
For his 2008 book, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, Khanna interviewed people—experts and taxi drivers alike—in 50 countries. The result was a book that was grounded as much in on-the-street reporting as academic study. The core thesis of his work so far is that U.S hegemony is in the process of being replaced by a world of three superpowers: the United States, the European Union, and China. Khanna argues that the contest among these three powers will be fought in the economies of “Second World” countries like Brazil and Indonesia that fall somewhere between rich industrialized nations and the poorest, least developed countries.
In 2007, Khanna served as a senior geopolitical advisor to United States Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has previously held positions at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution.