Keith Krach and John Chambers Advance US-India Ties Through Trusted Technology
MENLO PARK, Calif.–Keith Krach, Chairman of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, and John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus of Cisco, discussed the critical role trusted technology plays in advancing freedom at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) West Coast Summit. As the only independent institution dedicated to strengthening the U.S.-India partnership in Washington, DC, and New Delhi, USISPF is the trusted partner for businesses, non-profit organizations, diaspora, and the governments of India and the United States.
“I have worked for Keith Krach at Ariba and now with John Chambers at USISPF,” said the organization’s President and CEO Mukesh Aghi. “They are both true champions of a strong U.S.-India relationship and have done much in their careers to strengthen ties between our two nations.”
“As I think about the influences that have been most important to me over the years, my friend and mentor John Chambers stands out,” observed Keith Krach. “His visionary leadership of one of the world’s most important companies, Cisco, has changed the technology industry, and, in his role as the USISPF Chairman, John’s focus on promoting entrepreneurship, gender equality, and new business creation will continue to improve the lives of people in the U.S., India, and around the world.”
“Keith is one of this generation’s premier multi-sector transformational leaders, as he has proven repeatedly in business, philanthropy, tech, education, and government,” said John Chambers before the USISPF gathering of government and business leaders. “The common thread through all these transformational achievements is Keith’s emphasis on trust. As the Under Secretary of State, Keith was able to accomplish things that have not been done before by deploying his underlying “Trust Principle” doctrine and creating Tech Statecraft, for which he has been recognized with a 2022 Nobel Peace Prize nomination.”
Krach explained that the “Trust Principle” is based on democratic values, such as respect for the rule of law, sovereignty of nations, human rights, labor practices, press freedom, and the environment, as a peaceful alternative to authoritarian regimes’ “Power Principle” doctrine, rooted in brute force, coercion, and intimidation.
Krach described how, as the world was struggling through the worst pandemic in a century, his hybrid public servant-private sector executive team at the State Department put the “Trust Principle” to the test by taking on the Chinese Communist Party’s masterplan to control 5G. The concept resonated globally, as indicated by the success of the Clean Network, which attracted 60 countries, representing two-thirds of the world’s GDP, and more than 200 telecommunications companies rallying around the “Trust Principle.” It also put the Chinese government on notice that its “Power Principle” would no longer go unchallenged.
During their dialogue, Chambers also pointed to Krach as a champion of the U.S. high tech industry, citing his team’s lead role in the onshoring of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which has led to $300 billion investment in the U.S.-based chip manufacturing, and the design of the $250 billion bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which will fund research in top national security technologies in order to secure America’s high tech leadership for the next generation.
Shifting to the lessons of the war in Ukraine, Chambers brought up Krach’s Fortune article, Present your China contingency plan at the next board meeting, which highlighted the fact that many of the most respected board members in corporate America are demanding a China contingency plan from their CEOs. “What if Xi pulls a Putin?” Krach asked the USISPF attendees. “With Xi’s recent crackdown on private industry and the real probability of an attack on Taiwan, boards increasingly understand doing business with, in, or for China represents tremendous risk. Board members have a fiduciary duty to the shareholders to mitigate significant risks.”
The USISPF discussion concluded with the focus on deepening partnerships between the United States and India as an important aspect of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy. “Democracy is under attack like never before and our two nations’ are the world’s largest democracies. Preserving freedom and peace through trust must be at the heart of our relationship” Krach said, “As one of America’s closest friends, a technological superpower, and a member of the Quad and the Clean Network Alliance of Democracies, India is not only a bulwark against techno-authoritarianism, but also crucial to advancing our shared democratic values through trusted technology.”
About the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue:
The nonpartisan Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue is the world’s preeminent institution focused on Tech Statecraft, a new model of diplomacy that bridges the high-tech sector with the foreign policy and national security sectors to ensure trusted technology is used to advance freedom. The Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy is a 501(c)(3) that leverages Purdue’s strength in innovation, deep expertise in technology, and global prowess in educating transformational leaders. It focuses on rallying our allies, leveraging the innovation of the private sector, and amplifying democratic values based on trust.