Dr Kumar is a specialist in ethnic conflicts, peace-making, and peace-building. Formerly co-founder and director general of the Delhi Policy Group, Dr Kumar has also been director of the Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Jamia Mallia Islamia University (2005–2010), senior fellow in peace and conflict studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (1999–2003), executive director of the Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly in Prague (1992–1994), and associate fellow at the Institute for War and Peace Studies at Columbia University (1994–1996), and was a member of the Council on Security and Cooperation in the Asia–Pacific (CSCAP India). She currently is on the board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Council of the United Nations University.
From October 2010 to October 2011, Dr Kumar served as one of the three-member group of interlocutors appointed by the Government of India for Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr Kumar holds a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi) and an MA and BA from Cambridge University (UK). She is the author of five books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters, as well as several dozen op-eds and about 30 reports.