International Visitor Leadership Program

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American Think Tanks
A Project for India

These visitors are invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.  Their program is arranged by World Learning.

Program Contacts: Ms. Amy Reid and Ms. Dorothea Schurr, World Learning, 1015 Fifteenth Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005; Telephone: (202) 464-8525 or (202) 464-6597; Toll-free: (800) 858-0292; Email: or

Department of State Program Contacts: Ms. Reva Gutpa and Ms. Irina Karmanova, Office of International Visitors; Telephone: (202) 632-3311 or (202) 632-9395; Email: or

Accompanied by: Ms. Elka Charren, International Visitor Liaison

September 29 – October 17, 2014


The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

  • Explore how think tanks and related university institutions are structured and funded;
  • Examine the role of think tanks in creating content and influencing national policy;
  • Establish links with U.S.-based think tanks; and
  • Discuss ways to expand, develop, and professionalize the think tank community in India.



Mr. Dharmarajan DHANURAJ
Chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research

Mr. Ashish GUPTA
Associate Fellow-Energy, Observer Research Foundation

Assistant Professor and Head, Centre for Corporate Governance, Institute of Public Enterprise

Associate Professor, Health Studies Area, Administrative Staff College of India

Mr. Neeraj KUMAR
Managing Editor, Centre for Economic Policy and Public Finance, Asian Development Research Institute, Patna

Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd.




Name: Mr. Dharmarajan DHANURAJ

Present Position: Chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research

Concurrent Position: Managing Director, Civitas Consultancies Pvt. Ltd

Education/Training: Ph.D., Science and Humanities, Anna University, Chennai, 2013
M.A., Political Science, Madras Christian College, Chennai, 2005
M.Sc., Physics, Sacred Heart College, Cochin, 2002

Address: Centre for Public Policy Research
Door no.28/3656, 1st floor
Sonoro Church Road, Elamkulam
Kochi, Kerala 682 020

Languages: Tamil (native), English

U.S. Travel: Michigan, New York, Washington

Justification: Dr. Dharmarajan Dhanuraj is the Chairman of the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), an emerging think tank in the state of Kerala focusing on urban development, security, and strategic affairs. Mr. Dhanuraj started the organization in 2004 and has cultivated it into a globally respected institute with international reach. In 2013, CPPR launched a parallel organization called the CPPR Centre for Strategic Studies (CPPR-CSS) to explore new foreign policy frontiers at the federal level, especially from a South Indian perspective. CSS researches the role of federal states in countering threats to different dimensions of national security in the Indian Ocean rim region, including maritime and coastal security, internal security and human security. It provides a new platform to explore the confluence of foreign policies, regional interests and security challenges in an era of globalized trade and commerce.



Name: Mr. Ashish GUPTA

Present Position: Associate Fellow-Energy, Observer Research Foundation

Previous Positions: Manager, GIS Development, 2011
Senior Executive, Associate Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India, 2010

Education/Training: M.S., Business Economics, Guru Nanak University, Amritsar, 2008
B.A., Commerce, Allahabad University, 2004

Address: Observer Research Foundation
20, Rouse Avenue
New Delhi 110002


Languages: Hindi (native), English

U.S. Travel: No previous U.S. Travel

Professional Background: Mr. Ashish Gupta focuses on energy issues as an Associate Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). His current portfolio includes energy security, water, regional cooperation and peace building through energy and resource infrastructure integration, climate change, renewable energy use, sustainable development, environmental awareness and economic development. Mr. Gupta has spoken at several international conferences such as the Indian Business Chamber on “Energy Infrastructure Management,” has published articles, and provides consultancy services to energy utilities and associated stake holders. Established in 1990, ORF is an independent think tank examining the critical problems facing India and developing policy responses in a rapidly changing global environment. It is closely associated with major international think tanks, including the Brookings Institution and the Heritage Foundation.




Present Position: Assistant Professor and Head, Centre for Corporate Governance, Institute of Public Enterprise

Previous Positions: Assistant Professor, Badruka College PG Centre, 2003-05
Assistant Manager, SREI International Finance Ltd, 2001-01
Senior Accounts Officer, Kolmak Chemicals Ltd, 1996-99

Education/Training: Ph.D, Philosophy, Osmania University, 2009
Post Graduate Diploma, Management, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, 2002
Chartered Accountant, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, 1995
Cost Accountant, Institute of Cost Accountants of India, 1995 B.Com., Calcutta University, 1992

Publications: “Intertwining CSR with Strategy – The Way Ahead,” Corporate Governance Vol 14, Issue 2, 2014
“Diversity and the Effective Corporate Boards,” Elsevier, 2013.
“Women on Boards – The Statistics Speak,” Chartered Accountant Journal, January 2013
“Boards Should have Members With Diverse Experience,” Asia-Pacific Journal of Management Research and Innovation, Vol 8 No 3, Sage Publications, 2012
“Companies go Global, Boards Remain Local,” co-author with Dr. Mishra, Indian Management, Vol 51 Issue 8, August 2012
“Board Diversity and Corporate Performance: The Indian Evidence,” IUP Journal of Corporate Governance, Vol XI, No. 3, July 2012
“Gender Diversity in Singapore Boards,” co- author with R.K. Mishra, Research Journal of Economics and Business Studies, Vol 1 No 8, June 2012

Address: Flat No 302
Pragati Apartments
1-2-300 Gagan Mahal Road
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500029


Languages: English

U.S. Travel: Nevada, New York

Professional Background: Dr. Shital Jhunjhunwala heads the Centre for Corporate Governance (CCG), Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE) in Hyderabad. She is involved in conceiving and executing training programs for corporate and industry representatives on issues like strategic decision making, social responsibility, and regulatory compliance. The IPE offers research, training, and consulting services for public and private organizations and industries. Recognized as a ‘Centre of Excellence’, the IPE is funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), the Government of India, and the Government of Andhra Pradesh.



Name: Mr. Subodh KANDAMUTHAN, Ph.D.

Present Position: Associate Professor, Health Studies Area,  Administrative Staff College of India

Previous Positions: Finance Consultant, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, 2007-08
Assistant Professor, Health Economics, Institute of Health Systems, Hyderabad, 2006-07
Assistant Professor, Health Policy Research Unit, Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi, 2004-06

Education/Training: Ph.D., Economics, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, 2004
M.Phil., Applied Economics, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2000
M.S., Development Economics, Pondicherry Central University, 1998
B.A., Economics, University College, Kerala University, 1996

Publications: “Public Private Partnerships in Health Sector,” Creative Handicrafts group, December 2013
Book Review, “Poor but Spirited Karim Nagar: Field Notes of a Civil Servant by Sumita Dawra,” ASCI Journal of Management, March 2013
Book Review, “Interlacing Water and Health,” ASCI Journal of Management, September 2012
“Recurrent Costs of India’s Free ART Programme,” Indrani Gupta, Subodh Kandamuthan, M.Trivedi, ‘AIDS – An Economic Development Risk in South Asia,’ World Bank, December 2008
“An Analysis of Recurrent Costs of the Free ART Programme of the Government of India,” Indrani Gupta, Subodh Kandamuthan, Mr. M Trivedi, in the book ‘Growth, Equity, Environment and Population; Economic and Sociological Perspectives,’ Sage Publications, November 2007

Address: Associate Professor, Health Studies Area
Administrative Staff College of India
Bellavista, Raj Bhavan Road
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500082


Languages: Malayalam (native), English

U.S. Travel: Washington DC, New York

Professional Background: Dr. Subodh Kandamuthan is a senior staff member at the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) in Hyderabad. As a part of ASCI’s Centre for Human Development, Dr. Kandamuthan’s research has focused on projects in Health Economics and Policy that have helped different state health departments implement policy changes in the areas of finance and procurement. His current projects include Restructuring Kerala State Planning Board and Evaluation of public private partnerships in health in Odisha and providing policy suggestions for effective social protection for single women in India. ASCI trains civil servants, defense personnel, entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and academics with the skills to synthesize managerial theory and practice and respond to the ever-increasing complexity of managerial issues confronting Indian organizations today. It also undertakes independent evaluation projects for various state governments and engaged in research and management studies through its eight specialized research centers.



Name: Mr. Neeraj KUMAR

Present Position: Managing Editor, Centre for Economic Policy and Public Finance, Asian Development Research Institute

Previous Position: Senior Copy Editor, Hindustan Times, Madhya Pradesh Editions, 2011-12

Education/Training: M.Phil., International Relations, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2006
M.A., Political Science, Delhi University, 2004
B.A., Political Science, Banaras Hindu University, 2000

Address: ADRI, BSIDC Colony
Patliputra Road
Patna, Bihar 800013


Languages: Hindi (native), English

U.S. Travel: No previous U.S. Travel

Professional Background: In his role as Managing Editor at the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Mr. Neeraj Kumar is closely involved with research on policy issues. In Patna in the state of Bihar, ADRI works with the Indian government and various national and international organizations on development issues, and is dedicated developing resources for literacy and education, vocational training, and broadening inter-disciplinary social science research with a focus on economic policy and public finance. ADRI contributes significantly to the government’s efforts on development and empowerment of issues.




Present Position: Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd.

Concurrent Position: Special Adviser, incoming President, Associate Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India

Previous Positions: Chief Operations Officer, Centre for Civil Society, 2013-14
Independent Director, Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship, 2013
Chief Executive Officer, World Development Forum, 2013
Consultant, Planning Commission of India, 2012
Emerging Leaders Fellow, Australia India Institute, 2012
Vice President, Reliance Capital, 2010
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Feedback Infrastructure Services, 2008
Director, Confederation of Indian Industry, 2005
Research Officer, Prime Minister’s Office, 2002
Senior Correspondent, Business World, 1997
Manager, Corporate Communications, Hinduja Group, 1996

Education/Training: Post Graduate Diploma, Business Management (equivalent to an MBA), Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, 1995
B.A., Commerce, Mumbai University, 1993

Publications: “Business of Social Responsibility,” Co-author, 1998

Address: A-502, PMO C.H.S,
C-58/20, Sector 62
Noida 201309


Languages: Hindi (native), English

U.S. Travel: No previous U.S. Travel

Professional Background: Mr. Harsh Shrivastava is Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd., where he is focused on better understanding how politics and government, people and NGOs, and business all work together. Previously he was the Chief Operations Officer at the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in New Delhi. He spent the first few years of his professional career in the corporate circuit before becoming the deputy speech writer to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. During his time with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he was a member of the team that drafted the party’s election manifesto for the 1998 and 2004 elections. He believes it is crucial for India’s political and business leadership to be guided by well-researched public policy that only independent think tanks can deliver. Mr. Shrivastava is often a guest lecturer at various Indian educational and research institutions, and regularly writes columns in national dailies on public policy issues.

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