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Dr. Mitu Sengupta, an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University in Toronto, has joined the ASAP Board of Directors. Sengupta, who also heads the Centre for Development and Human Rights in Delhi, has been closely involved with ASAP efforts in India, and she is a lead organizer of the ASAP-Canada launch, scheduled for October 2012 at Ryerson.
Sengupta holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and an MA and BA in Political Science from McGill University in Montreal. She has published widely on Indian market liberalization and development, on labor and migration, and on the politics of sporting and cultural events. Before her doctoral studies, she worked as a consultant for the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, in addition to working as an editorial writer in Delhi.
“I am delighted to welcome Mitu Sengupta to the Board of Directors,” said Board Chair Thomas Pogge of Yale University. “She has greatly contributed to ASAP’s efforts for most of its existence, with much energy, grace and intelligence. Her participation on the Board will greatly strengthen our work, especially in India and Canada.”
The ASAP Board is tasked with developing and promoting core ASAP efforts, including conferences, impact projects and activities focused on promoting collaboration between researchers, teachers and students working on aspects of poverty reduction. Its nine board members are drawn from universities in the United States, Canada, India, Spain, Australia and the United Kingdom.
More than 100 academics, students and development professionals gathered at Yale University to debate the legacy and possible future of large-scale development aid at ASAP’s One-Year Anniversary meeting.
Yale Professor Emeritus Gus Ranis, a top administrator at US Aid under the Johnson Administration, gave insight from his decades of experience in the field and classroom, and he stressed the continuing importance of promoting local ownership of development projects. Hugh Evans, a youth leader of the 2005 Make Poverty History Campaign, shared his experiences getting young people involved through his multi-country Global Poverty Project, and leveraging their involvement to secure large-scale commitments for overseas aid.
Phillip Alston, a Professor of Law at New York University who has filled several high-level human rights roles for the United Nations, offered an insider’s view of the UN Millennium Development Goals effort, and of recent talks to determine what should replace the MDGs when they expire in 2015. World Bank Lead Economist Branko Milanovic shared his most recent findings on global inequality and its importance to numerous issues around global poverty, and ASAP Board Chair Thomas Pogge of Yale encouraged those present to put their energy and academic expertise to use within the ASAP network.
Earlier in the day, ASAP Board members gave updates from efforts underway in India, the United States, the UK and elsewhere. Those include the launch of a pilot ASAP Students group at the University of Birmingham, the development of the All Rights India project in Delhi, aimed at better publicizing the entitlements actually held by India’s poor persons, and the development of an ASAP internship program at Yale.