By Neel Shah
Watch out, Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria. There's a new dashing, well-spoken, Indian-born public intellectual on the scene, and he's poised to eat into your monthly allotment of Daily Show appearances!
Thirty-one-year-old geopolitical analyst Parag Khanna is having a moment. Esquire recently named Khanna, who currently serves as Director of the Global Governance Initiative at the New America Foundation, one of the "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century." Wired foisted him atop its "2008 Smart List," calling him a "peripatetic emblem of this post-American World" and a "smooth-talking wonderwonk." He's regularly featured on MTV. He speaks "German, Hindi, French, Spanish, and basic Arabic." He even has a book coming out in 2010 called How to Run the World. In short, Parag Khanna is the Jesus Christ, Allah, and Krishna of international affairs! How did the Georgetown School of Foreign Services grad come to be seen as the savior of the universe? First, he's seen much of it. Esquire notes that he traveled to 50 developing countries in two years while researching his first book, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order. (It was translated into over 10 languages!) Khanna tells Wired, "I think I'm the only person who went to Davos seven times by the age of 30," before making clear that he's not boasting by adding, "I'm not sure that's a good thing." He's also put in time at the Council of Foreign Relations, served as adviser to U.S. Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and coached Barack Obama's campaign about foreign policy. Coupled with the fact that he is fond of coining catchy terms like "Bollystan" and "Multi-Americanism," and you pretty much have a perfect storm of camera-friendly, media-savvy ethnic goodness. Hop aboard the Khanna train now!