SASA Board

The SASA Board of Directors is made up of individuals sharing a common vision for the Association and a significant commitment to its realization. The Board will grow over time as additional individuals come forward who share the vision with enthusiasm and dedication.

Current Directors:
William Vanderbok, president
Deepak Shimkhada, vice-president
Muthusami Kumaran, treasurer
Lynn Ate, secretary
Vandana Asthana
Gunjan Bagla
Dina Bangdel
David Blundell
Ray Bromley
Joe Pellegrino
Linda Sanchez
Ken Silverman

Emeritus Members
SASA recognizes its founding and former members of the board with Emeritus status. The following have given years of valiant service to SASA and the South Asian academic community.

Paul Hanson
Chandrika Kaul
Ramdas Lamb
Dean McHenry
Ram M. Roy

Vandana Asthana (PhD Political Science, CSJM University India, PhD Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is the Book Review Editor for Exemplar: The Journal Of South Asian Studies. She was formerly the Head of the Department of Political Science at Christ Church College, C.S.J.M University in Kanpur, India and currently teaches political science in the Department of Government at Eastern Washington University. In October 2010 she received the Outstanding Faculty Award for Scholarship/Creative Activity at Eastern Washington. Her publications include several books: Water Policy Processes in India: Discourses of Power and Resistance, The Politics of Environment, India's Foreign Policy and Subcontinental Politics, Theory of International Politics and two edited volumes, Security in South Asia: Trends and Directions and Advances in Environmental Biopollution. She has published a large number of research articles in various journals and has contributed chapters in edited volumes. She has been on delegations of Track Two Diplomacy for confidence building measures between India and Pakistan. Dr. Asthana has been associated with premier think tanks in the region and has participated in the Ford Foundation projects in India and Sri Lanka on Comprehensive and Environmental Security in South Asia. She is the Founder member of the IC Centre for Governance, New Delhi, and the Founder Secretary and Member of the Advisory Panel of Eco-Friends, an NGO that works on water issues in India. She has served as consultant and completed a project for the Government of India on the Water Security of India. Her forthcoming books include Nuke Waters: Water Security in India and Pakistan.

Lynn Ate (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) serves as SASA secretary. A resident of Moscow, Idaho, home of the University of Idaho, she has a research affiliation as an adjunct faculty member with the Washington State University Asia Program in Pullman, WA across the state line. Her area of research focuses on devotional Tamil literature and religion. She has held positions at the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Alaska Southeast. For over 20 years, however, she was a senior public administrator for the State of Alaska in Juneau, from which she is now retired. SASA has recently published her book,Yasoda's Songs to her Playful Son, Krsna: Periyalvar's 9th Century Tamil Tirumoli, and she is currently working on translations of a contemporaneous poet, Tirumankaiyalvar. Lynn also has served as a commissioner on the City of Moscow's Human Rights Commission since 2008, as the secretary for Latah County Human Rights Task Force, Inc. since 2007, and as a planning committee member of the annual Moscow CommUNITY Walk since 2007.

Gunjan Bagla (MBA , Southern Illinois; BSME, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur) is Managing Director of Amritt, Inc., a management consultancy that helps Western executives at top companies to do business in India. He also created the executive workshop Doing Business in India for Caltech’s executive education program and taught it several times a year until 2009. He is the author of Doing Business in 21st Century India (Hachette 2008) and blogs at His web-based "Dictionary of Indian English" is a popular location to find both current and classic words used by Indians as part of an English conversation. Bagla writes about India for Business Week and other publications. He is a frequent public speaker on India and business. He is currently the President of the Alumni Association of the IITs and a Charter Member of TiE, The Indus Entrepreneur. He lives in Cerritos, California with his wife Smita, and two school-age children.

Dina Bangdel (PhD, The Ohio State University) is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Art History Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her primary areas of specialization are South Asian/Indian art and Himalayan art, with secondary areas of interests relating to the issues of gender and identity in contemporary South Asian art and film. Her current research focuses on the art and ritual traditions of Newar Buddhism in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal and the development of Tantric Buddhist iconography of the Himalayan regions, principally Nepal and Tibet.

David Blundell (PhD, University of California) is based at National Chengchi University in Taipei, and has contributed a number of works on South Asia, including Masks: Anthropology on the Sinhalese Belief System (NY: Peter Lang) and the making of a feature documentary film, Dr B. R. Ambedkar and the Birth of a New Era in India (Navaloka Productions). He is an international consultant for the Institute for the Development of Community Strength (INDECOS), an NGO in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka for assisting rural arts and cultural development and programs. His current research collaboration is with the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative for language and culture mapping. Professor Blundell offers courses such as South Asia as a Cultural Area; Buddhism as Myth, Liberator, and Power in Southern Asia; and Introduction to Development Studies: Economic Development and Culture Change - at universities in Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Ray Bromley (PhD, Cambridge University) is a Professor of Geography and Planning, and the Vice Provost for International Education at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He previously taught at Swansea University in the UK. He was born and brought up in rural England, and his first child labor was as an unpaid cowherd. Most of his career has focused on International Development Studies and on City and Regional Planning, and he has a strong interest in the history of ideas in planning, urbanism and development. Up till 2006, his field research was focused on the Americas, but since then he has focused mainly on India. He is researching the history of India’s rural reconstruction movement and the policy issues surrounding India’s cattle and water buffalo. Dr. Bromley has published extensively on casual labor, urban informality, micro-enterprises and street vending. He has been a consultant to the United Nations, USAID, UNICEF, and various projects funded by USAID and the World Bank.

Paul Hanson (PhD, University of Chicago) is Chair of the Department of History at California Lutheran University. He previously taught at St. Olaf College and Agra University (India). Twice a Fulbright Scholar in India, Dr. Hanson's research has focused on Islamic history in South Asia, especially the relationship of religion and political legitimacy. Other national fellowships and awards have enabled him to study in London, Sri Lanka and Jordan. He is the winner of the President's Award for Teaching Excellence.

Chandrika Kaul (PhD, Oxford University) is a Lecturer in Modern History at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She is the co-editor of the Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media book series. She is the author of An Indian History of the Raj as well as Reporting the Raj: The British Press and India, 1880-1922, the first detailed examination of British press coverage of the sub-continent. She has also edited Media and the British Empire. In addition, she has contributed articles to a number of international academic journals, including Twentieth Century British History, The Indian Economic and Social History Review, Media History and Contemporary India. Her contributions have also appeared in reference works like The New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford), and The Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia, as well as in book chapters in Northcliff's Legacy: Aspects of the Popular Press 1896-1996; A Journalism Reader; The "Round Table": The Empire-Commonwealth and British Foreign Policy; Contemporary History Handbook; The Communications Revolution; Gender and Media; Empire, Competition and War: Essays on the Press in the Twentieth Century, etc. She has taught in study abroad programmes at Oxford University for a number of US educational institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, Princeton, New York University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina.

Muthusami Kumaran (PhD, University of Louisville) serves as SASA Treasurer. He is an Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management & Community Organizations in the Family, Youth, and Community Sciences Department at the University of Florida. His areas of research interest include various aspects of NFP management, the roles of NGOs, community development, civic engagement, home- and community-based elderly care services, and environmental justice. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Kumaran worked for an NFP organization and a state government agency. He has also served on the boards of various small, medium and large NFP organizations. He currently serves on the board of the Florida 4-H Foundation. He has published articles and book chapters, and has presented numerous research papers related to the NFP sector and NGOs.

Ramdas Lamb (PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Dr. Lamb's current research is on monastic traditions and religion among the low castes in central and northern India. He was a Hindu sadhu (monk) in north India from 1969 until 1978.

Dean McHenry (PhD, Indiana University) is currently a professor of politics and policy at the Claremont Graduate University. He has also taught at the University of Calabar (Nigeria), Brown University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Dar es Salam (Tanzania). He served as Dean of the School of Politics and Economics at CGU. In addition to field research in Africa, he has conducted extensive work in India (Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal). He is the author to two books on African politics, Limited Choices: The Political Struggle for Socialism in Tanzania, and Tanzania's Ujamaa Villages: The Implementation of a Rural Development Strategy. He has contributed chapters to a number of books on African politics, one on India, and published nearly two dozen professional papers. He was a Fulbright Senior Specialist had received research awards and fellowships from the Haynes Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Fulbright-Hayes, N.D.F.L., Fletcher Jones, and Midwest Consortium for International Development.

Joe Pellegrino (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) serves as the SASA web administrator, and technology coordinator on the SASA board. He is also the Managing Editor for Exemplar: The Journal Of South Asian Studies. Dr. Pellegrino teaches postcolonial literature and Irish Studies in the Department of Literature and Philosophy at Georgia Southern University. He previously taught at Eastern Kentucky University and The University of South Carolina - Upstate. His most recent work, in the South Asian Review, is on Edward Elgar's Crown of India Masque. He has coordinated the annual British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference for several years, and is the web administrator for numerous academic sites.

Ram M. Roy (PhD, Claremont Graduate University) is Professor Emeritus of political science at California State University, Northridge. Dr. Roy's areas of interest include: U.S. Foreign Policy; Comparative Foreign Policies; India-U.S. and U.S.-Asia relations. Dr. Roy's publications include: Indian Democracy in Crisis and India and The World in the Post Cold War Era. He has also written papers such as: "Non-Alignment: The Cultural Background" and "The Sino-Soviet Disputes In Southeast Asia." He is also a television commentator and an invited public speaker.

Linda Eilene Sanchez received her M.A. in Art History from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1992 and for the past 14 years has taught Asian Art and Multi-Cultural Art History courses on the Auraria Campus in Denver, Colorado. In 2009, she earned a Ph.D. in cultural theory and South Asian visual culture and religions from the University of Denver/Iliff Joint Ph.D. Program. She has delivered conference papers in the U.S. and internationally, most notably in Delhi, India at the Conference on Indic Religions in 2005. Her dissertation was on the acclaimed international artist, Shahzia Sikander. In the past year, she began teaching for the Masters of Innovative Studies Program at Regis University. She lives with her most supportive husband, Robert and their dog, Tuffy in Lakewood, Colorado.

Deepak Shimkhada (PhD, Claremont Graduate University), serves as SASA Vice-President and Editor of Exemplar: The Journal Of South Asian Studies. Dr. Shimkhada taught in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Claremont McKenna College, from which he is retired. He also taught at Claremont Graduate University. He currently teaches at Claremont Lincoln University. He has published four books: The Constant and Changing Faces of the Goddess: Goddess Traditions of Asia, Popular Buddhist Mantras in Sanskrit, Himalayas at the Crossroads: Portraits of a Changing World, and Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity. Another book nearing publication is Memories of a Painful Past: Chinese Posters of the Cultural Revolution. He has contributed chapters to The Constant and Changing Faces of the Goddess, Bhagavata Purana: A Reader, Health and Religious Rituals in South Asia: Diseases, Possession and Healing, and Sangama: A Confluence of Art and Culture During the Vijayanagara Period. Articles have appeared in NAFA Art Magazine, Arts of Asia, Orientations, Artibus Asiae, Oriental Art, The Journal of Asian Studies, The Himalayan Research Bulletin, Voice of Ulan Bator, Himalaya, Folk Dance Scene, The Overseas Times, India West, and The Rising Nepal. He is the president of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast, founder and president of the Foundation for Indic Philosophy and Culture, founder and president of the Himalayan Arts Council at the Pacific Asia Museum, and editor of two newsletters: Himalaya and Indicator.

Ken Silverman is the president of Interactive Teamworks, a privately held consulting and creative services organization. Mr. Silverman is a nationally prominent media strategist and entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience in the front ranks of the U.S. entertainment and communications fields. He has participated in the acquisition, production, distribution, and marketing of content for motion picture theaters, commercial and public broadcasting, cable and pay-television, home video, satellites, interactive media, and the Internet. Since 1997, Mr. Silverman has specialized in electronic media related to the Indian subcontinent. He is a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), former Executive Vice President of Indians in American Media [IAM], and writes often for The India Journal. He is Executive Producer of two forthcoming US motion pictures targeted to be shot in India, and sponsored The 2006 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. A critical member of the SASA board, he brings needed management and marketing expertise.

William Vanderbok (PhD, Indiana University), serves as SASA President and Director of Publications. Dr. Vanderbok has held full-time academic appointments at the University of Colorado, Indiana University, Texas Tech University and the University of California, Los Angeles. He received multiple grants from the East-West Center (Honolulu) to do research on Indian politics. He has published in Modern Asian Studies, The British Journal of Political Science, Political Methodology, Contemporary South Asia, Asian Survey, The Canadian Journal of Political Science, Social Science History, The Journal of Police Science and Administration, Polity, Western Political Science Quarterly, The Journal of Asian Studies and PC Magazine.