As Director of India Initiatives at Boston University’s Global Programs, Deepti Nijhawan supports the VP/AP of Global Programs in playing a central role in Boston University’s India strategy by collaborating with faculty, developing relationships with quality partner institutions in India, and overseeing administrative components for the BU Foundation in India. Her extensive network and knowledge of India has helped engage leading science, technology, industry and government leaders to participate with BU faculty and students. She has organized and moderated academic panels, and also presented papers at several higher education conferences including the Universities of Rhode Island and Alberta, Canada.
An architect and urban planner by training, Deepti has extensive experience with projects that have had an impact on the local urban landscape. At the Boston Redevelopment Authority she served as project manager for Boston’s Harborwalk Project that proposed knitting together 44 miles of the City’s waterfront walkway. At the Cambridge Housing Authority, she served as a Senior Planner, overseeing renovation projects at several public housing developments, including the development of the Windsor Street Community Center that served the area’s at-risk youth. Her passion for working with India led her to MIT for over seven years where she served as Managing Director of the MIT-India Program, helping to send over 300 MIT students to India as well as supporting MIT faculty with seed grants for their work in India. During her time at MIT, she also worked as an Instructor at the Edgerton Center where she taught a Freshman Seminar Course on the urban planning challenges of Indian cities. This included taking her entire class to India for field work each year.
Deepti graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with Master’s degrees in City Planning and Architecture, and earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree at the Delhi University School of Planning and Architecture. She is involved with several local and Indian non-profit organizations, having served two-terms as President and Chairperson of MIT’s Heritage of the Arts of South Asia, the leading South Asian arts organization in New England, and as a Board Member of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Visiting Committee for South Asia. Her awards include the Infinite Mile Award from MIT, an Outstanding Service Award from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the MITHAS Chairperson Award.