About Asian Century Foundation

The term ‘Asian Century’ refers to the fast emerging economic and demographic influence of countries in this region on world affairs. As the global center of gravity shifts towards Asia, the Asian Century Foundation’s aim is to help deliver the promise of this century by increasing mutual understanding amongst countries to leverage each other’s knowledge and experience in socioeconomic development. We aspire to achieve this by creating avenues for collaboration and knowledge sharing among scholars, practitioners, and policymakers.

Our work is divided into three streams, Education, Knowledge & Policy, and Culture. We primarily focus on India, China, and select countries of ASEAN.

Asian Century Foundation is funded by Indian philanthropy, and directs all its work towards socioeconomic developmental areas of priority to India.

Our Team

Founder

Ashish Dhawan
Founder

Ashish Dhawan is an Indian private equity investor and philanthropist who founded one of India's leading private equity funds, Chrys Capital. He left his position at Chrys Capital in 2012 to found Central Square Foundation (CSF), a non-profit foundation working towards quality K12 education for all children in India. In 2014, he founded India's first liberal arts university, Ashoka University, and is the Chairman of the University’s Board. Ashish has also launched the Indian School of Development Management, an institution focused on creating development managers for the social sector. Ashish graduated from Yale University and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. Ashish is currently the Chair of Harvard’s India Research Center, is on the Global Advisory Board for Harvard Business School, and is a Sterling Fellow at Yale University.

Advisory Board

Shivshankar Menon
Advisor

Shivshankar Menon is an Indian diplomat who served as the National Security Adviser of India under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He has previously served as the Foreign Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. Between 2000 and 2003 he was the Ambassador of India to China, prior to which he was the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka.

Vijay Keshav Gokhale
Advisor

Vijay Keshav Gokhale is an Indian diplomat and former Foreign Secretary of India. He served as India’s Ambassador to China (2016-2017), High Commissioner to Malaysia (2010-2013) , and also Director (China and East Asia) and Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Suhasini Haidar
Advisor

Suhasini Haidar is the Diplomatic Editor of The Hindu, one of India’s oldest and most respected national dailies, regularly writing on foreign policy issues. Previously, she was the Foreign Affairs editor and prime time anchor for India’s leading 24-hour English news channel CNN-IBN where she presented the signature show “WorldView with Suhasini Haidar.” She has won a series of awards for her work in television as well as the Prem Bhatia, India’s most prestigious print journalism award.

Jabin Thomas Jacob
Advisor - Education Initiatives

Jabin T. Jacob is an Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University. He is also Adjunct Research Fellow at the National Maritime Foundation and Associate Editor of the academic journal China Report. He was formerly Fellow and Assistant Director at the Institute of Chinese Studies. Jacob holds a PhD in Chinese Studies from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Team

K. R. Subramanian
Chief Executive Officer
Subramanian has extensive management experience in large multi-national organizations, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, and Whirlpool home appliances. He has lived and worked in diverse cultural environments of India, Middle East, UK, Australia, and China. In a career spanning 30 years, Subra held various senior leadership roles, successfully developing & executing strategies, and overseeing functions and business units to deliver profitable growth. Subra has an MBA (PGDBM) from XLRI Jamshedpur and a Bachelors in Technology from IIT-BHU.
Anumita Raj
Associate Director
Anumita leads the Knowledge & Policy vertical at Asian Century Foundation. She's a political analyst with over 12 years of experience working closely with governments, funders and research organizations, and leading large projects with multiple stakeholders based in different parts of the world. Anumita has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Madras and a post-graduate degree in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster.
Mahak Chhajer
Associate Director
Mahak leads the Education program at Asian Century Foundation. She is a Program Design and Innovation specialist and has worked extensively in the Indian education sector. Previously, she was a part of the Founding Projects Team at Ashoka University and created its first three batches. She graduated from Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Germany and did her BA in Economics from Hindu College, Delhi University.
Sajal Sehgal
Program Manager
Sajal is the Program Manager for Education at Asian Century Foundation. He has previously spearheaded launch and growth initiatives for Zomato across multiple international markets as a Global Expansion Manager, and worked with Fortune 500 clients as a Management Consultant at ZS Associates. Sajal is also a Young India Fellow from Ashoka University, and currently serves as Director of Ashoka University's Alumni Association. He holds his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.
Smridhi Khanna
Program Manager
Smridhi is the Program Manager for Knowledge & Policy at Asian Century Foundation. She previously worked with Gartner as a Senior Analyst, creating research and advising clients of Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Smridhi has co-authored several policy research papers which have been published by the likes of NABARD and Bloomsbury Publications. Smridhi holds a master’s degree in International Business and an undergraduate degree in Commerce.
Tanya Rohatgi
Program Manager
Tanya is a Program Manager for the Education vertical at Asian Century Foundation. She graduated from Ashoka University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. Tanya has previously worked with Carnegie India and Brookings India, researching foreign policy, diplomacy, and regional security.
Akshat Khare
Program Associate
Akshat is a Program Associate for the Knowledge & Policy vertical of Asian Century Foundation. He has graduated from NMIMS University in Mumbai, one of India’s leading B-schools. He has previously worked with PRS Legislative and YLAC India, conducting policy research in areas of public health, finance, and Indian economics.
Samir Pius George
Program Associate
Samir is a Program Associate for the Knowledge and Policy Vertical of Asian Century Foundation. He graduated from the Indian School of Public Policy, and did his BA in Economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi. He has previously worked with Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM) and eGovernments Foundation in areas of skill development, public service delivery and state capacity.