Asia Society Members Cocktails with Dr. Vishakha N. Desai
Evening Cocktails with Dr. Vishakha N. Desai, President, Asia Society
Vishakha N. Desai is the President and CEO of the Asia Society. In this capacity, Desai sets the directions for the Society's diverse set of programs throughout the Society's network of centers in the U.S. and Asia. She is a frequent speaker and commentator in the media, addressing cultural, social, educational, business, and policy trends and their implications for the U.S.-Asia and intra-Asian ties. Prior to her appointment as President in 2004, Desai served as Asia Society's Senior Vice President and Director of the Museum and Cultural Programs, overseeing the renovation of the New York City headquarters.
As Museum Director, Desai built an international reputation for introducing contemporary Asian art to a broad audience and using it to illuminate historical trends and their influence on the development of society. A scholar of classical Indian art, she has published numerous catalogs and articles and is widely recognized for conceiving innovative exhibitions of traditional Asian art within strong cultural contexts. She was also at the forefront of the Society's integration of Asian American issues into its public programming.
Prior to joining the Asia Society in 1990, Desai was a curator at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She also taught at the University of Massachusetts, Boston University, Columbia University, and Williams College. Desai holds a B.A. in political science from Bombay University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Asian Art History from the University of Michigan.