Vanita Shastri is Dean of Global Education & Strategic Partnerships. In this role she leads all International partnerships and develops prospective institutional partners, manages all global mobility and student exchanges for Ashoka and Visiting students. In addition, she works on building graduate admission opportunities for Ashoka students and alumni. Under the university’s new strategic plan, she works to recruit faculty, build strategic partnerships and collaborations to further the mission of Ashoka.
In her role as the Dean of Global Education & Strategic Programmes, from September 2017 to December 2022, in addition, to her global work she also lead all summer programmes including the summer semester and the Young Scholars Programme, a unique summer programme which introduces high school students to a liberal arts & sciences education. Furthermore, she collaborated with different stakeholders to develop and run enrichment programmes at the university.
Prior to this she was the Founding Dean of the Undergraduate Programmes at Ashoka University in which role she built the undergraduate programme, put end-to-end processes and systems to establish an outstanding undergraduate student experience. She steered Ashoka’s first batch of students from admission into the first year to convocation. She brought global best practices to Ashoka and has managed and mentored various teams at Ashoka.
Previously she was the Executive Director of TiE-Boston, the second largest chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) a global organization that fosters entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking and education.
Vanita has a Ph.D. from Cornell University and has taught at Boston University, University of Massachusetts and Wellesley College. She was a policy consultant at Harvard University, where she wrote a number of policy papers, including one on the ‘Software Policy of India’ for the Government of India. Vanita was part of the founding team at Redwood Investment Systems, Inc. where she set up their wholly owned subsidiary in India and directed their global operations.
Vanita is an educationist, an entrepreneur and an artist. She has founded two non-profit organizations, including the Meru Education Foundation in USA and the Habitat Learning Center in Delhi, India. She is the author of two books, The Salem India Story and a co-edited book called, ‘Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability in Business.’ She is also a trained Indian classical dancer.