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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2867

Nirupama Rao joins Columbia Univ’s George W. Ball Professor

By Prakash M Swamy

Nirupama Menon Rao, who served as foreign secretary of India from 2009 to 2011 and as India’s ambassador to the United States from 2011 to 2013, will join Columbia SIPA’s faculty as the George W. Ball Adjunct Professor for the fall 2018 semester.

Among many other highlights of her four-decade career in the Indian foreign service, she was the nation’s first female ambassador to China.

Since retiring from the diplomatic corps in 2013, Rao has served as a fellow or visiting scholar at Brown University, the New School, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“SIPA is fortunate to welcome Ambassador Nirupama Rao as our Ball Professor,” said Dean Merit E. Janow. “India is an area of great interest to our faculty, our students, and our community, and we will all benefit from the vast experience and deep insight of such an accomplished diplomat.”

Rao will co-teach a course on India-China relations with Professor Jagdish Bhagwati and give lectures on topics related to her expertise.

Her professorship is in honor of George Ball, the former under secretary of state in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who in 1968 served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

The position was established in 2009 with support from an anonymous donor who wished to recognize Ball’s legacy as an important establishment figure who expressed independent and often dissenting views.

Over its history, the Ball Professorship has brought many remarkable diplomats, scholars, and former government leaders to SIPA, including Kishore Mahbubani, Mari Pangestu, Jorge Castañeda, and Leslie Gelb, among others.

Like previous Ball chair holders, Rao was selected in recognition of her demonstrated record of innovative contributions to international policy and understanding.

Rao received her undergraduate degree from Bangalore University and a master’s degree from Marathwada University. Among awards, she holds an honorary doctor of letters from Pondicherry University in India.

For more than 70 years, SIPA has been educating professionals who work in public, private, and nonprofit organizations to make a difference in the world. Through rigorous social science research and hands-on practice, SIPA’s graduates and faculty strive to improve social services, advocate for human rights, strengthen markets, protect the environment, and secure peace, in their home communities and around the world.

A leading academic and research university, Columbia continually seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and addressing the complex global issues of our time.

Columbia’s extensive public service initiatives, cultural collaborations, and community partnerships help define the University’s underlying values and mission to educate students to be both leading scholars and informed, engaged citizens.

Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University in the City of New York is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

- Asian Tribune -

Nirupama Rao joins Columbia Univ’s George W. Ball Professor
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