New York: Global non-profit organisation Asia Society’s India-born head Vishakha Desai, who has advised President Barack Obama on India related issues, is stepping down as president and CEO after 22 years at the city-based leading cultural and educational body.
US-educated Desai would leave her post on September 1 and join the city-based Guggenheim Foundation, a preeminent institution for the collection, preservation and research of modern and contemporary art, as Senior Advisor for Global Policy and Programs.
She is also talking with several prominent universities to develop a special initiative focusing on the intersection of culture in international relations.
One of America’s leading experts on Asian art, Desai had joined Asia Society as its museum director in 1990, served as senior vice president and was appointed to lead the entire institution as president and CEO in 2004.
Desai said it was time for her to move to the next phase of her professional life, allowing more time for teaching and writing.
“It has been a privilege to preside over the institution during this time of dramatic transformation. It is now the right time to close my chapter and open the way to new leadership at the Asia Society,” she said in a statement.
During her tenure, Desai oversaw a major expansion of Asia Society’s headquarters here with establishment of new offices in India and South Korea.
Desai is also writing a book on the future of India’s role in the world. She would serve as an advisor to the Asia Society Board to help with the transition process.