Academy Fellow (2017)
Sonali Mittra

Contact information

+44 (0)20 7389 3271


Prior to joining Chatham House, Sonali worked at a Delhi-based political think-tank, The Observer Research Foundation, as an associate fellow.

Her research centres on the water-energy-climate nexus and water diplomacy in South Asia.

She co-authored the book Alternative Perspectives on Water in South Asia and is the principle investigator and author of multiple research reports funded by the World Bank, DFID, the Stimson Centre, the Atlantic Council and the International Water Management Institute.

She has also worked on the blue economy, South Asian connectivity, and disaster management in India and managed ORF’s flagship projects, the Asian Forum on Global Governance, BRICS Academic Forum, and the Mekong-Ganga Dialogue.

Sonali received her Bachelor’s degree from Delhi University in Botanical sciences and a Master’s degree from the University of Manchester.

She is a gold medallist in Environmental Law from Indian Institute of Law, India. 

Areas of expertise

  • Transboundary water management
  • Collective action in achieving water security
  • Securitization of natural resources
  • Environmental law
  • Hydropower development 

Past experience

2011-17Associate Fellow, Observer Research Foundation 


  • 'Hydropower: The Status and Challenges'. In Luna Bharati, Bharat R. Sharma, Vladimir Smakhtin The Ganges River Basin: Status and challenges in water, environment and Livelihoods. London : Routledge . 328. (2016)
  • 'Deconstructing the climate-conflict nexus in urbanising India'. Issue Brief 148. New Delhi: Observer Research Foundation. (2016)
  • 'India’s Energy Transition in a Climate-Constrained World' Issue Brief 116. New Delhi: Observer Research Foundation. (2015)
  • 'Providing water and sanitation for all'. In: Mathur, V. and Passi, R. Global Goals, National Actions, Making the Post-2015 Development Agenda Relevant to India. New Delhi: Global Policy. 46-51. (2015)
  • 'Collective Action for Water Security and Sustainability: Preliminary Investigations', with Sugam, R., Ghosh, A., CEEW-2030 WRG Report: New-Delhi, India. (2014)