Chair of the Board and Executive Committee

Vice Chancellor, Krea University
Distinguished College Professor of International Economics, Middlebury College, USA [on Leave]

Sunder Ramaswamy joined the Board of Trustees of The Asia Foundation in 2012 and became chair of the board in 2019. He served previously as vice chair from 2014 to 2018. He is currently the vice chancellor of Krea University, a new innovative approach to liberal arts and sciences designed specifically to help students prepare for impactful leadership in a dynamic, uncertain, and complex world of the 21st century. He is working in collaboration with other academics, industrialists, and philanthropists to start operations in August 2019 in Sri City, near Chennai, India. Ramaswamy is on leave from Middlebury College, where he is a distinguished college professor of International Economics.

From January 1, 2009 through January 31, 2015 he served as the president and Frederick C. Dirks professor of International Economics at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), a graduate school of Middlebury College, in Monterey, California. At MIIS, he oversaw an ambitious academic reorganization, a successful completion of the integration of MIIS with Middlebury, handover of the reaccreditation process from WASC to NEASC (including a successful 10 year combined NEASC reaccreditation in 2011-12), accelerated fundraising, scaling up the endowment, budgets in the black for 8 straight years, and increased institutional visibility. He also launched new graduate programs in nonproliferation and terrorism studies, international education management, international trade and economic diplomacy, created three new research centers (the Center for the Blue Economy, the Center for Conflict Studies, and the Center for Social Impact Learning), a Cyber Security initiative, and a number of other innovative programs. He also re-energized the alumni outreach and Reunion programs, created new awards for outstanding alumni, and promoted active community engagement with the creation of the eMIISsaries group of ambassadors. The Institute also completed an ambitious facilities’ Master Plan to develop the Campus over the next decade.

He currently serves as vice chair and a member of the Executive Committee of The Asia Foundation (2012-present); he is also the vice chair and member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the American International School in Chennai (2016-present). Prior board service includes vice chair of the Board of Trustees of the International School of Monterey (a K-8 public charter IB School in Seaside, California, 2009-2015), the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non Proliferation (Austria, 2011-2015), and an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of MIIS (2009- 2015).

In 2011, the Monterey County Business Council (California) awarded him with their Economic Vitality Award in the “Education” category. In 2014, the Monterey County Weekly, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, recognized him as “one of the 25 local game-changing leaders in Monterey, California”. In 2014, he, along with his wife, Varna, was honored by the International School of Monterey on National Philanthropy Day. That same year, an anonymous donor gave a 7-figure gift to endow the Sunder and Varna Ramaswamy Scholarship Fund at MIIS.

Over the past 28 years he has held visiting positions at the Madras School of Economics (in India, including a position as the director of MSE from 2015-2017 and 2003-2005), Vanderbilt University, Institute of Financial Management and Research (India), Purdue University, and the World Bank. His academic work has been supported by grants from the S.W. Davis Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Kellogg Foundation. He has also been a consultant to UNCTAD, UNIDO, and United Nations University on specific development economics projects. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of development economics, international economics, and applied microeconomics. He has contributed many chapters in various books and articles either published or forthcoming in journals such as Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Systems, Applied Economics, Comparative Economic Studies, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Economics Letters, Environment, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, and Outlook on Agriculture. His co-authored and co-edited books include Development and Democracy with Jeffrey Cason (University Press of New England, 2003), Social Capital and Economic Development with Jonathan Isham and Thomas Kelly, (Edward Elgar Publishers, 2002), The Economics of Agricultural Technology in Semiarid Sub-Saharan Africa with John H. Sanders and Barry I. Shapiro (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, 1997); and Economics: An Honors Companion with Kailash Khandke, Jenifer Gamber, and David Colander (MaxiPress, Richard D. Irwin Publishers, 1995). He was also one of the series editors (with Michael Geisler and Neil Waters) of the Middlebury College Bicentennial Series on International Studies published by UPNE (1999-2004). He is currently working on a manuscript on Indian economic reforms.

His passion for teaching received a number of recognitions at Purdue University (1988, 1989), MSE (2005), and Middlebury College, including the prestigious “Marjorie Lamberti Faculty Appreciation Award” at Middlebury in 2003 (and a nomination in 2006). He has also served as advisor/reader to over 85 undergraduate Honors theses in Economics, International Politics &Economics, and International Studies; over 40 master’s theses in Economics; and has supervised over 20 award-winning honors’ theses at Middlebury College.

He has presented his research at international conferences in Austria, Canada, China, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. He has also given talks in over 145 invited seminars in India and USA on subjects ranging from globalization, to economic development, to Indian economic reforms, to economics literacy. Articles featuring him and/or his views on various topics have appeared in the popular media (International and Indian) such as: Asia Times Online, Business Standard, Business World, The Californian, China Central TV, The Deccan Chronicle, The Diplomatist, The Economic Times, Education World, The Financial Express, Higher Education Plus, The Hindu, Hindu Business Line, Hindustan Times, India Abroad, Indian Express, India Today, India West, Industrial Economist, The Monterey Herald, The Monterey County Weekly, The New Indian Express,,, Time, and Vermont Public Radio.

In 2002, he was appointed the Frederick C. Dirks distinguished professor of International Economics at Middlebury College (till 2015). At Middlebury, he also served as the vice provost of the Middlebury–Monterey Integration Task Force (2007-2008), dean for Faculty Development and Research, (2007-2008); acting dean of the Faculty (2006-07), and the chair of the Economics department for three terms (1996-2003). At Middlebury, he was also elected to every major college-wide committee by his peers. Ramaswamy is currently working on projects fostering economic reforms in India. His teaching and other academic work has been supported by grants from the Davis Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, and USAID. He has also been a consultant to UNCTAD, UNIDO, the United Nations University, and the World Bank.

Ramaswamy received his doctor of philosophy degree in Economics from Purdue University, a master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and bachelor’s degree (Honors) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, where he secured record marks and topped the University in the 3rd year, and overall secured the 4th position in the B.A. (Honours) examinations. He also secured the 5th position in the Central Board of Secondary Education (India) National Class 12th examinations (Science group).