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 grants (from the Department of Education, Department of State, and Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative), 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 Institute’s long term strategy, and providing the administrative leadership for the day-to-day operations of the Institute. Dr. Saxena also serves as the Director of the newly established Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies where she is spearheading collaborations for faculty and students between UC Berkeley and universities, private companies, NGOs, and research organizations in Bangladesh.
Dr. Saxena is the author of Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garment and Textiles Industries (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. Her current project 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, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, the United States International Trade Commission, the Center for Global Development, the National University of Singapore and the U.S. Bangladesh Advisory Council. Her commentaries have been featured in the New York Times, Economic and Political Weekly, Thomson Reuters, The Daily Star, and aired on LinkTV, KQED World, and KPFA.
In the summers of 2010 and 2014, she was a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. 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 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 and LinkAsia.
Commentaries & Opinion Pieces:
- 2015, September 16. Interview. “Most Bangladeshi garment workers are women, but their union leaders weren't. Until now.” Public Radio International (PRIs), The World.
- (with Sarah Labowitz). 2015, August 10. Op-ed. “Monitoring working conditions at factories won’t stop future tragedies.” The Globe And Mail.
- 2014, August 27. Interview on Daybreak Asia on Voice of America.
- 2014, August 26. Blog post. Global Women’s Leadership Initiative.
- 2014, August 11. Blog post. America’s Trade Policy.
- 2014, February 27. Interview on KPFA 94.1 FM's APEX Express
- 2013, May 3. “Can Bangladesh Find Justice after Factory Tragedy?” LinkAsia.
- 2012, Op-ed. “American Tariffs, Bangladeshi Deaths.” The New York Times.