Vishakha Desai

Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University, Senior Research Scholar in Global Studies at its School of International and Public Affairs, and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, New York, USA

Vishakha N. Desai is senior advisor for global affairs to the president of Columbia University, senior research scholar in global studies at its School of International and Public Affairs, and vice-chair of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. She is a trustee of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and serves as chair of the board of trustees for AFS Intercultural Programs. She serves as a member of the board of directors of Teach For All, the Social Science Research Council, the newly established KREA University, and the corporate board of Mahindra & Mahindra, one of India's largest global corporations. From 1990 through 2012, Vishakha served in various capacities at the Asia Society, ranging from being director if its museum, to being the president and CEO of the organization from 2004. She is a noted scholar of Asian art and well known for her leadership in presenting contemporary Asian art to American audiences and in developing innovative approaches to the relationship between culture and foreign policy in Asia. In 2012, in recognition of her leadership in the museum field, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board. Vishakha's publications include: Asian Art History in the 21st century (March 2008), Gods Guardians and Lovers: Temple Sculpture of North India (November 1993), and Life at Court: Art for India's Rulers (June 1985). She is also a regular contributor to leading American and Indian publications on cultural and current issues. In addition to five honorary degrees, she holds a B.A. in political science from Bombay University, India, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Asian art history from the University of Michigan, USA.


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