Every year the award committee selects a well-known person as the Outstanding 50 event featured speaker. Please scroll down for information about our previous featured speakers.
Dr. Vishakha Desai is president of Asia Society, a global organization dedicated to preparing Asians and Americans for a shared future, where she leads the institution’s activities in the areas of policy, business, arts, culture and education. She is a frequent lecturer at international gatherings and a commentator in the media addressing cultural, social, and political trends and their implications for the U.S. – Asia relationship and Asian regional ties.
Appointed president in 2004, Dr. Desai is leading an institutional expansion that includes a new India Center in Mumbai which opened in 2006, and planned multi-million dollar facilities in Hong Kong and Houston.
She received her BA in political science from Bombay University and an MA and PhD in Asian Art History from the University of Michigan. A recipient of numerous awards, including one of the “50 most distinguished Indian Americans,” (India Abroad), and as one of the “100 most powerful women leaders” in New York (Crains), and has four honorary degrees.
Dr. Desai is committed to public service and serves on the boards of The Brooking Institution, Citizens Committee for New York City, Asian University for Women and the New York City Advisory Commission for Cultural Affairs.