Shashi Tharoor is an elected member of the Indian Parliament and former minister of state for external affairs. In 2007, he concluded a nearly 29-year career at the United Nations, including his role as undersecretary-general for communications and public information. In 2006, he was India’s candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary-General and emerged a strong second out of seven contenders. Tharoor is the prize-winning author of twelve books, both fiction and nonfiction, including the classic The Great Indian Novel; India: From Midnight to the Millennium; Nehru: The Invention of India; and The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cellphone: Reflections on India in the 21st Century. A widely published critic, commentator, and columnist in publications including The Hindu, The Times of India, and Newsweek, he has won India’s highest honor for overseas Indians, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, and numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. He is a trustee of the Aspen Institute, currently on leave of absence.