WASHINGTON (TIP): India-born Vishakha Desai, a leading expert on Asian art, has been appointed by the Obama administration as member of the National Museum and Library Services Board, a key administrative post. The name of the prominent Indian American, who is also president of global non-profit organization Asia Society, figured in the list of appointments to 10 key administration posts announced November 20.
“I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have agreed to join this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead,” President Barack Obama said in a statement after the announcements. A graduate from Bombay University, Desai completed her MA and PhD from the University of Michigan and later worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1977 to 1990.
She served as Assistant Curator of Indian, Southeast Asia, and Islamic collections from 1981 to 1990, and simultaneously worked as the Head of Academic Programs from 1981 to 1988. Desai has been a visiting professor at various universities, and was an assistant and associate professor at the University of Massachusetts from 1988 to 1990. Desai was the President of Association of Art Museum Directors from 1998 to 1999, and was on the boards of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Asian University for Women, and the Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities. She is also on the board of The Brookings Institution, and is an advisor and reviewer for the New York City Advisory Commission for Cultural Affairs.