Abhijnan REJ is a security analyst, researcher, and consultant. He focuses on Asian security and geopolitics, South Asian defense policies, and the intersection of technology and international security. A trained mathematician, Rej has also worked on mathematical physics, economic policy, finance, and technology in course of a unique 16+ year career that sets him apart from his peers globally. Author of more than 30 research papers, reports, and briefs, and more than 330 media articles and essays, his analytical work on international security issues is deeply informed by disparate intellectual perspectives. He is currently working on a book on contemporary India’s strategic environment, to be published by Penguin Random House India later in 2022.
Rej was previously Security and Defense Editor at The Diplomat and Director of Research at Diplomat Risk Intelligence, the magazine’s research and consulting division. He was also a Senior Fellow in the Strategic Studies Programme at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India’s leading public policy think tank.
Rej’s work has appeared in The Washington Quarterly (thrice), the US Army War College’s online journal War Room, War on the Rocks, The Interpreter, The Diplomat Magazine, National Interest (online), Global Policy (online), Wired (online), Journal of Physics: A, and Contemporary Mathematics.
Other than writing extensively for The Diplomat, Rej has also published in virtually all major Indian English-language media outlets, including Times of India, Hindustan Times, Hindu, Firstpost, and Open. Rej (or his writings) have been quoted by the Economist, Reuters, Voice of America, CNBC, The Nation, The Australian, China Global Television Network, and Dawn, among others. He has also been interviewed for the United States Senate India Caucus by the National Bureau of Asian Research.
Rej’s public policy work has also involved developing and hosting strategic tabletop exercises involving a cross section of stakeholders. He has participated in a variety of Track 1.5 and Track 2 diplomatic dialogues, and has provided policy inputs to the Government of India. Rej has spoken at the Indian Army’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, the Indian Air Force’s College of Air Warfare, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ Foreign Service Institute, and at numerous academic and policy fora on security and scientific issues across Asia, Europe, and North America.
Rej’s career trajectory thus far has spanned public policy, the corporate world, and academia. Before transitioning to research and advisory work on strategic affairs, he worked as the resident Economist at the JustJobs Network, a public-policy start-up, and as a scientist and innovation evangelist at the Tata Consultancy Services’ Corporate Technology Office. Rej has also been Visiting Faculty at the Institute of Mathematics and Applications, Bhubaneswar where he taught undergraduate courses in advanced mathematics.
Rej obtained his undergraduate degree in mathematics in 2003 from the University of Connecticut as University Scholar, one of the highest academic honors the university awards to graduating seniors. In course of his undergraduate studies, Rej was deeply involved in research at the intersection of mathematics, physics, and experimental psychology. He obtained his Master’s degree in 2005, also in mathematics and also from the University of Connecticut, after having written a thesis on quantum algebra and noncommutative geometry. Rej pursued doctoral studies in mathematical physics at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, Bonn. He was also a Scientific Researcher at the Fields Institute, Toronto. In Bonn and Toronto, Rej researched new mathematical structures in high-energy physics and string theory. He has also been a visiting researcher at several renowned scientific institutions in Europe and India. Rej was awarded a Marie Curie Early-Stage Research Fellowship by the European Commission in 2007 and a special Junior Research Scholarship by the Clay Mathematics Institute in 2008.
Rej currently lives in Gurgaon, India, and devotes his spare time to astronomy and astrophysics.