Our Team

Words of Appreciation:

DAS of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Dr Joe Felter — “welcome to the community of think tanks in the US!”

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nepal Dr. Arjun Karki — “doing a great help for us.”

US Peace Corps Volunteers to Nepal — “wonderful”

Congressman Jared Polis — “will do expertise building for Nepal Congressional caucus”

And many more…


We are a team of experienced academics, commentators and researchers, including university level interns, from both US and Nepal.

Dr. Anil Sigdel, Founder, Nepal Matters for America, Washington DC 

Prof. Bob McDonnell- Professor and Chair (retd.), English Department, California Polytechnic State University & West Washington University 

Purushottam Sigdel, Executive Director, Washington DC

Dr. Janja R Avgustin, Research Consultant, Hawaii Pacific University

David Buggs, Strategic Planner, Washington DC

Saurav Raj Panta, Research Associate, Columnist at The Kathmandu Post, Kathmandu, Nepal

Pushkar Panta, Artist and Film Producer, Annadale Virginia, US, Nepalese Diaspora Coordinator

Pranav Panta, Youth Coordinator and Contributor, Virginia Commonwealth University 

Past team members:

Ms. Margaret Mainguy, North Carolina State University

Ms. Natalie Cox, Washington DC

Ms. Jennifer Loy, Research Associate, Boston, Massachusetts

Ms. Ipshita Bhattacharya, India (contributor)

Former advisors, prominent scholars, from Nepal:

Dr. Nischal Nath Pandey

Prof. Surendra KC


Anil Sigdel,  Founder and Director Emeritus 


Anil Sigdel holds a PhD in political science/international relations from the Institute of Political Science, University of Vienna, Austria. He holds a Master degree in International Studies from the Diplomatic School of Madrid where he was  merit scholar under the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation and Development, Ministry of External Affairs, Spain. He is an independent consultant on international relations and geopolitics. Dr. Sigdel is a native Nepali. He  speaks native level Hindi. He is also fluent in English, Spanish and German, and speaks some French, Romanian and Mandarin Chinese. His views and commentaries have appeared in The National Interest, Real Clear Defense, Hudson Institute, East West Center in Washington, South China Morning Post-Hong Kong, East Asia Forum-Australia, Observer Research Foundation-New Delhi, People’s Daily China, The Kathmandu Post-Nepal and many more.  After proactively leading the NMA as Director, now Sigdel  continues his association with NMA as Director Emeritus. He is author of the book India in the Era of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (October 2020), Rowman and Littlefield’s Lexington imprint, Washington DC. He is also founding member of the prestigious Nepal Policy Institute, based in Hague and Kathmandu, a border-less policy think tank comprising of outstanding international academics and practitioners of Nepali heritage.

Prof. Bob McDonnell, Member of the Founding Tea


Prof. McDonnell ret. holds a BA in philosophy from Saint John’s University (small Catholic college in Minnesota) and a MA in English from University of Minnesota. He has a PhD in English from University of Minnesota. He was a member of English Department at Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) and Chairman and Professor of English Department, Western Washington University. He was then Chair of English Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, and then just a Professor until he retired. He is a co-author of 5 textbooks and is listed in Directory of American Scholars and in Contemporary Authors. He was a member of the Washington (state) Commission for the Humanities, and also had MA in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute.  He also was a     licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and Washington, now retired.

Purushottam Sigdel, Executive Director (Interim)


Purushottam Sigdel is the Interim Executive Director at Nepal Matters for America – he joined in August 2020. Mr Sigdel brings invaluable story and experience from Nepal to the United States with long experience in diplomacy and public administration. He is a naturalized American of Nepalese heritage and also speaks fluent French and Spanish. He lives in Washington DC area with his family.

Dr. Janja R. Avgustin, Research Consultant

Janja R. Avgustin holds a Master’s Degree in Diplomacy and Military Studies from the Hawai’i Pacific University and has obtained her PhD in International Relations at the University of Ljubljana. Her research focuses on the use of force in international relations, especially in cases where the use of force has been authorised by the UN Security Council and is being executed by a group of states (and not under the auspices of the UN or another international organisation). Her research page www.unscramblethesc.org focuses on all aspects of UN SC resolutions; she hopes to influence the debate on how we understand and study conflict by providing detailed analysis of UN SC processes. Her other research interests include military studies, historiography, conflict management, diplomacy and ceremony, quantitative methods, and computational models. Janja has experience as a lecturer and supervisor, and she also works as a trainer at international debate academies. Currently, Janja is employed at University of East Anglia where she contributes to Global Politics modules. She also continues to work as an Editor-at-large at E-International Relations where she is at the present co-editing a collection on Realism which will be published later this year. (all team members do voluntary contributions to NMA)

Photo feature: Nepal Matters in Washington:

with Prez Trump’s China advisor Pillsbury


with HE Indian Amb to US


with DAS of Defense for South and South East Asia Dr Felter


Dr Sigdel with HE Ambassador Dr Arjun Karki
With His Excellency Nepal Amb Dr Karki


with US Amb to Nepal H E Alaina Teplitz