Shyama Venkateswar is the Director of Research & Programs at the National Council for Research. In this capacity, she helps to provide the vision and strategic direction as well as lead funding and outreach efforts for the Council’s research and policy agenda on economic security for low-income women, diversity in higher education and the corporate arena, women’s leadership, and ending global violence against women. She works closely with the Council’s network of Member Centers on college and university campuses, and the Corporate Circle to initiate collaborative projects, seek funding, organize convenings and policy briefings, and distill recent research findings on gender-related issues for the Council’s research, policy, advocacy and corporate constituents.
Dr. Venkateswar is an Academic Advisor for Queens College, City University of New York, where she is helping to launch the content, programs and outreach for the new Immigration Center; design the structure and curriculum for the College’s Year of India Initiative, including a lecture series on contemporary India and a study tour to India in January 2013. She is also a member of the College’s India Steering Committee for an International Academic Partnership Program, an initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE), to develop a strategic plan focused on partnerships with academic institutions for potential faculty and student exchanges. She has also served as an advisor to the President of Queens College on strategies to advance gender diversity and multiculturalism among the College’s faculty and senior administration.
Prior to this, Dr. Venkateswar was the founding Executive Director of Mercy Corps’ New York initiative, a new interactive learning and action center dedicated to global hunger and poverty. She is the former Director of the Asian Social Issues Program at the Asia Society, and played an instrumental role in the growth of one of the most high-profile, multidisciplinary areas of programming at the Society. Dr. Venkateswar has been a Program Officer at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs and an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn College where she taught courses on South Asia and Middle East history and politics.
Dr. Venkateswar’s research and policy expertise lies in human rights, social justice, women’s leadership, and diversity & inclusion. She has given talks at various international and corporate venues, as well as the US Capitol, Columbia University, New York University, Queens College (CUNY), the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and the Population Council.
She has served on the Allocations Committee for New York Women’s Foundation; the grants review committees for the United States Institute of Peace; and the evaluation panel for Echoing Green’s 2008 Social Entrepreneurship competition. She is currently a Contributing Editor for India Review, a refereed journal dedicated to contemporary political, social and economic developments in India and an external reviewer for Transparency International’s South Asia reports.
Her media appearances have included KPCC (NPR affiliate in Los Angeles), WBAI, Voice of America, Reuters Television, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Her work has been profiled in Crain’s New York, the New York Times (Business section) and India Abroad. Her commentaries have appeared on blog posts (Women’s Media Center, AlterNet, and National Council for Research on Women) and published in The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Asia Times, The Indian Express, and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Dr. Venkateswar received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Columbia University. She is a graduate of Smith College. A native of Calcutta, India, she now lives in New York with her husband and two children who attend public school.