Obama names Vishakha Desai to museum board
In yet another appointment of an Indian American to a key administration post, President Barack Obama has named former Asia Society president Vishakha N. Desai as member, National Museum and Library Services Board.
At over a score, the Obama administration has more Indian-Americans working in top positions than any other previous administration with USAID administrator Rajiv Shah currently being the highest ranking Indian American.
Announcing the appointment of Bombay University graduate Desai with nine others, Obama said: "I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have agreed to join this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."
According to the White House announcement, Desai is president emeritus of Asia Society, an organisation she led as president and CEO from 2004 to 2012.
From 1977 to 1990, Desai worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in a variety of roles, ultimately serving as assistant curator of Indian, Southeast Asia, and Islamic collections from 1981 to 1990, and, simultaneously serving as the head of academic programmes from 1981 to 1988.
Desai has been a visiting professor at numerous universities and was an assistant and associate professor at the University of Massachusetts from 1988 to 1990.
Desai is on the board of The Brookings Institution and is an advisor and reviewer for the New York City Advisory Commission for Cultural Affairs.
She served as the president of the Association of Art Museum Directors from 1998 to 1999, and was on the boards of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc., Asian University for Women, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.
Desai received a BA from Bombay University and an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)