Sanchita Saxena
Executive Director, Institute for South Asia Studies; Director, Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies

Dr. Sanchita Saxena is an administrator, author, researcher, consultant, and lecturer with a focus on international development and policy making. Dr. Saxena received her Ph.D. in Political Science (focus on Comparative Political Economy) from UCLA in 2002.

Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for South Asia Studies (ISAS) at UC Berkeley where she is responsible for spearheading new research initiatives, managing multi-year Department of Education and Department of State grants, developing programmatic activities, securing funding opportunities through grants, individual, and corporate donors, establishing internal and external partnerships, administering fellowships, disseminating research through articles and reports, overseeing the Center’s long term strategy, and providing the administrative leadership for the day-to-day operations of the Center. Dr. Saxena also serves as the Director of the newly established Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies.

In the summer of 2010, Dr. Saxena was a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. where she was working on her book, Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garment and Textiles Industries (forthcoming summer 2014, Cambria Press). She has also published several policy and conference reports on the garments and textiles industry, policy reforms, urbanization, and governance and democracy. She will return to the Wilson Center again in 2014 to work on her current project, which focuses on critically analyzing the role that international and domestic NGOs have played in Asia’s development.

Dr. Saxena has given invited lectures at several universities and institutions, including Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, UC Berkeley, the United States International Trade Commission, the Center for Global Development, and the U.S. Bangladesh Advisory Council. Her commentaries have been featured in the New York Times, Economic and Political Weekly, Thompson Reuters, The Daily Star, and aired on LinkTV, KQED World, and KPFA. She has conducted fieldwork and research studies in South and Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Prior to joining ISAS, she was the Assistant Director of Economic Programs at the Asia Foundation, where she was responsible for implementing economic programs in 18 countries throughout Asia and where she co-authored The Phase-Out of the Multi-Fiber Arrangement: Policy Options and Opportunities for Asia. She has also served as a consultant to the Asia Foundation on various economic projects.

Dr. Saxena has taught courses in Political Economy, Comparative Politics, The Politics of Developing Countries, Doing Business in India, and the Politics of Economic Reform in Asia and Latin America at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and the University of San Francisco. She is a trustee of the American Institute of Indian Studies, the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, and the American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies. Dr. Saxena currently serves on the board for LinkAsia. She was formerly on the advisory council for Human Rights Watch, SF and on the board of the Center for the Pacific Rim at the University of San Francisco.

Politics of economic reform, policy networks and coalitions, role of interest groups in policy making, private-public dialogues, role of NGOs in development, local economic governance and decentralization, business climate improvements, and international trade
Ph.D., UCLA, 2002