Swarna Rajagopalan trained as a political scientist. Academia and activism are inseparable twin strands of her work life as a writer, independent scholar, consultant and teacher in Chennai, India. She is active as a scholar on traditional and non-traditional security topics and also writes for both print and electronic media.
Dr. Rajagopalan received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1998); an M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University (1985) and a B.A. in Political Science from Elphinstone College , University of Bombay (1984).
She is the founding trustee of The Prajnya Trust, which is a non-profit centre for policy research, advocacy and networking in the areas of peace, justice and security. Her honorary leadership role there has involved providing vision; leadership and mentoring; research and writing; communications and public relations, including fundraising; conceptualization and execution of projects and programmes; and administration.
Her consultancy, Chaitanya, has undertaken educational programming, research conferences, commissioned research, research direction and reviews as well as project evaluations and reviews.
She is a founding member of the Women's Regional Network, a network of women peace activists and scholars from South Asia and East Africa.
Dr. Rajagopalan is presently a Visiting Professor of Politics at Krea University, having previously taught at other institutions including James Madison College, Michigan State University; Yale University; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; National Management School and Sophia College, Mumbai.