Asian University for Women (AUW): the first regional, liberal arts institution in South Asia

AUW Board of Trustees

  • Dipu Moni
    Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Parliament of Bangladesh; Chairwoman of the AUW Board of Trustees

    Dr. Dipu Moni is a prominent Physician and Lawyer from Bangladesh, who has been active in the human rights movement in the country.

    She obtained her medical degree from Dhaka Medical College; a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; and a law degree from the University of London. She served as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.

    Young Joon Kim
    Partner, International Law Firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP; Secretary of the AUW Board

    Young Joon (“YJ”) Kim is a partner at the international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, currently resident in its Hong Kong office, having served in the firm’s New York and Tokyo offices. Mr. Kim’s experience includes a variety of international corporate and financing transactions, including project finance, cross-border M&A and acquisition finance transactions.

    Mr. Kim received his B.A from Yale University and J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the New York State Bar and has been a regular speaker at conferences sponsored by Euromoney, Asia Law Journal, Asia Business Forum, and others, on topics including energy, project finance and M&A. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Harvard Alumni Association and the Executive Committee of Harvard Law School Association.

    Kapil Jain
    Partner, Capital Markets & International GAAP, Ernst & Young; Treasurer of the AUW Board of Trustees

    Kapil is a Partner in the Assurance and Advisory Business Services practice in Ernst & Young’s New York City office and is presently with Ernst & Young’s India practice. He has over 20 years of international experience in working with high growth companies in a broad range of industries advising and assisting them resolve financial, managerial and operational issues.

    He has been involved in advising both private and publicly held businesses achieve the next level of growth – including managing growth, mergers and acquisitions and access to private and public markets. Currently based in India, Kapil leads Ernst & Young’s Capital Markets practice in India and also serves as the global coordinating partner on key strategic clients based in India. The Capital Markets Practice is principally focused on advising companies involved in cross-border transactions and IPOs.

    Kapil has a Bachelors degree in accounting and an MBA from St. John’s University. He is a Certified Public Accountant from Connecticut, New York and New Jersey and is also a member of professional organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of CPAs. In addition to working with local civic and charitable organizations, Kapil has served on the Board of Directors of Oxfam America and currently chairs the audit committee at American Embassy School – New Delhi.

    Kamal Ahmad
    President & CEO, The Asian University for Women Support Foundation

    Kamal served on the staff of the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation and UNICEF prior to entering law school. While practicing law with the New York law firm of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (1996-2000), he also conceived and co-directed the World Bank/UNESCO Task Force on Higher Education & Society (

    He is a recipient of a number of awards including United Nations Gold Peace Medal & Citation Scroll, given by the Paul G. Hoffman Awards Fund for “outstandingly significant work in national and international development”; Time magazine College Achievement Award which cited him as “one of 20 most outstanding undergraduates in the nation”; Global Leader for Tomorrow Award from the World Economic Forum; and the John Phillips Award from his alma mater the Phillips Exeter Academy.

    He holds a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.

    Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad
    President of Qatar University, Vice Chairwoman of the AUW Board of Trustees

    Professor Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, a leading Qatari educator for nearly three decades, has occupied numerous prestigious positions in teaching, administration, and research, and assumed the presidency of Qatar University in 2003. Prior to that date, she served as Qatar University’s Vice President for Research and Community Development (2000 -2003), Head of the Department of Foundations of Education (1992 – 1995), and as a member of the University Council (1986 -1989; 1998 – 2004).

    Professor Al-Misnad received her BA and Diploma in Education from Qatar University. She received her PhD in Education from the University of Durham, UK in 1984 and received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law from Durham University in 2008. Professor Al-Misnad has lead education reforms in Qatar at the primary, secondary, and tertiary level. In recognition of her ongoing and distinguished contributions to the educational sector nation-wide, an Emiri decree was issued in 2010 granting Professor Al-Misnad a Ministerial rank.

    Professor Al-Misnad is a member of several international bodies and delegations. In 2004, she was selected as a member of the United Nations University Council (UNU), and in 2009, she was appointed to the American University in Cairo Board of Trustees.

    Ambassador Humayun Kabir
    Former Ambassador of Bangladesh to the U.S.

    Mr. M. Humayun Kabir was Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the United States (2007-2009). A career diplomat, Mr. Kabir previously served as Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, as well as Ambassador to Nepal. Mr. Kabir also served as Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Kolkata, India, Counselor and First Secretary at the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, India, Counselor at the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, and First Secretary and Second Secretary at the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington.

    In addition, he was Director-General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for South Asia and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, for Europe, and for the United Nations.

    A freedom fighter during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, Mr. Kabir began his professional career as a Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Dhaka. Mr. Kabir has written extensively on diplomacy with a focus on multilateral and public diplomacy and U.N. peacekeeping. He holds a M.A. in political science and a B.A. in law from the University of Dhaka, in addition to DESS from the University of Paris-XI in France.

    Rubana Huq
    Managing Director, Mohammandi Group

    Rubana Huq is the Managing Director of Mohammadi Group. She has been in the position for the last fifteen years, actively empowering five thousand women who manufacture and export a million pieces of ready-made garments every month. She heads MG Properties Limited, the Real Estate Division of the group.

    She also engaged in media as a CEO of TV Southasia uplinked from Kolkata, India from 2006-2010. Besides her corporate identity, Rubana is a poet, having won the SAARC literary award in 2006 and is currently a PhD candidate at Jadavpur University, India.

    Lȃle Kesebi
    Chief Communications Officer & Head of Strategic Engagement, Li & Fung

    Lȃle Kesebi is Chief Communications Officer & Head of Strategic Engagement at Li & Fung. She is responsible for the global corporate communications with all internal and external stakeholders, and leading the development of strategy on key initiatives aligning the organization to the company’s goals. Lȃle joined the Group in 2003.

    She began her career as a litigation lawyer and holds a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University. She is actively involved with The Women’s Foundation in Hong Kong, most recently as Co-chair of the Alumni Network Steering Committee of the Mentoring Program for Women Leaders.

    Lale is a past member of The Law Society of British Columbia (Canada). Formerly, she has been Chair of the Canadian Chamber’s Business Policy & Government Relations Committee and the Debenture and Scholarship committee of the Canadian International School in Hong Kong.

    Meenakshi Gopinath
    Former Principal of Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi; the Founder and Honorary Director of WISCOMP

    Meenakshi Gopinath is the Former Principal of Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, where she also teaches at the Department of Politics. She is also the Founder and Honorary Director of WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace), an initiative that seeks to promote the leadership of South Asian women in the areas of peace, security and regional cooperation.

    She was the first woman to serve as member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) of India. Dr. Gopinath is a member of multi-track peace initiatives in Kashmir and between India and Pakistan including the Neemrana Peace Initiative and the Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy.

    She has authored Pakistan in Transition, and co-authored Conflict Resolution: Trends and Prospects, Transcending Conflict: A Resource book on Conflict Transformation, and Dialogic Engagement. She has contributed chapters and articles about Gandhi, the politics of Pakistan, conflict resolution, and gender and peace building.

    Her interests include issues of human rights and gender, conflict transformation and Buddhist and Gandhian philosophy. In recognition of her contribution to the field of women’s education and empowerment, she has received several awards including the Padma Shri Award; Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi Award; the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Education; the Mahila Shiromani Award; the Delhi Citizen Forum Award; Qimpro Platinum Standard Award for Education; Celebrating Womanhood South Asian Recognition Award for Social Harmony; and International Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding work in the field of justice, Equity, Peace and Progress.

    Dr. Gopinath also received the L.M. Singhvi Fellowship Award at the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies at the University of Wales. Dr. Gopinath serves on the Governing Boards of various research institutes, NGOs, and educational institutions. She is a member of The Club of Rome, the Indo German Consultative Group, the Conflict Transformation Collaborative, the University for Peace, Asia Leaders Programme, and Track Two initiatives in the South Asian region. She has been a Fulbright scholar and has received several other fellowships, including the Australian International Education Foundation Fellowship and the University Grants Commission Indo-Israel Exchange Fellowship.

    Salahuddin Kasem Khan
    Managing Director, A.K. Khan & Co., Ltd.

    Marina Mahathir
    Former President, Malaysian AIDS Council, Board Member, Sisters in Islam, Columnist, The Star

    Marina Mahathir is a Malaysian writer and activist whose interests are focused on Muslim women’s rights and HIV/AIDS. For twelve years, she headed the non-governmental Malaysian AIDS Council. Ms. Mahathir is currently a member of the board of Sisters in Islam, an advocacy group for justice and equality for Muslim women. In Malaysia, she writes a regular column in The Star newspaper which focuses on current issues, women, health, local politics, human rights, and education. Ms. Mahathir is a graduate of the University of Sussex.

    She has published several books, including Rantings by MM and Telling it Straight, and is an avid user of Facebook and Twitter. She also is co-executive producer of the TV series for young women, 3R-Respect, Relax, Respond. In 2010, Marina was named the United Nations’ Person of the Year in Malaysia. In 2011 she was one of only two Malaysians named on’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Working for Women and Girls.

    Md. Shahidul Haque, ex officio
    Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh

    Lynne Anne Davis
    President and Senior Partner, FleishmanHillard Asia Pacific

    Lynne Anne oversees FleishmanHillard’s fast-growing, award-winning Asia Pacific network of 18 owned offices in 10 countries, including three brands and a number of emerging market start-ups. She leads growth strategies, business expansion, and enhancement of the global consultancy’s reputation for quality consulting, creativity and innovation.

    She led establishment of the firm’s Global China Practice, including a China Masters Exchange to fast-track Mandarin-speaking graduates from top universities in the U.S. and Europe while they serve Chinese clients in the West before transferring to roles in Fleishman’s Greater China operations.

    She is a sought-after speaker and commentator on industry issues, and passionate advocate of Shared Value. In 2015, she served as Jury President for PR in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the world’s biggest annual awards event in the creative industry. Lynne Anne was named, “2013 Global Women’s Champion” by NAFE, was voted as one of Asia’s Most Admired Agency Leaders in a 2014 Campaign poll, and she appears on the PRWEEK’s 2014 Power List and 2015 Global Power Book. Lynne Anne has lived in Asia since 1997. She is married, with two young sons who keep her life as full of adventure at home as it is at work.

    Md. Sohorab Hossain, ex officio
    Secretary, Ministry of Education, Bangladesh

    Joining the Bangladesh Civil Service in 1986, Mr. Sohorab Hossain started his career as an Assistant Commissioner. During his professional career, he was posted in different regions of the country with key experiences in field-level administration. Before joining as Secretary, Ministry of Education on 14 December 2015, he worked as Rector at the Bangladesh Civil Service (Admin) Academy with great commitment and dedication.

    His key functional area was to enrich professional knowledge and leadership building among the officers of the Bangladesh Civil Service. He worked as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Education before his Rectorship at BCS (Admin) Academy.

    Professor Nirmala Rao, ex officio
    Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching) at the Governance and Compliance Directorate at SOAS, University of London ,Vice Chancellor, Asian University for Women

    Nirmala is Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching) at the Governance and Compliance Directorate at SOAS, University of London. She took her first degree in Economics at Delhi University and received her MA and MPhil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She completed her PhD at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. In 1994 she joined the Politics Department at Goldsmiths College where she was elected as an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences in 2003.

    She has published extensively in the field of urban governance and has served as an advisor to a range of bodies including the UK Audit Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). She currently serves as a Trustee of the Learning from Experience Trust, and is a member of the Governing Bodies of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and the Institute of Education, University of London.

    Dr. Meredith Woo
    President, Sweet Briar College

    Meredith began her tenure as Sweet Briar College’s 13th president on May 15, 2017. She served as the Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia (2008-14). As dean, she oversaw 11,000 undergraduate students, 1,600 graduate students and 800 full-time faculty, and was a noted innovator and reformer of its graduate programs, international partnerships and fundraising operations.

    Annual philanthropic support for the College nearly tripled under her leadership. Most recently, Woo has been in London working as director of the Higher Education Support Program for the Open Society Foundations. This program is responsible for creating and supporting more than 50 liberal arts colleges in the former Soviet bloc and supporting higher education for refugee populations in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Prior to UVa, Woo was the associate dean for social sciences at the University of Michigan and a tenured professor of political science.

    She was a visiting scholar at the Ministry of Finance in Tokyo. She also taught at Northwestern University in Illinois and at Columbia University in New York. Woo holds a Ph.D. in political science as well as an M.A. in international affairs, both from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Bowdoin College in Maine.

    Her specialty is international and comparative politics with a focus on East Asia. A native of Seoul, Korea, she speaks Korean and Japanese and is proficient in Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. She has authored or edited six books and numerous scholarly articles, and she is the executive producer of an award-winning film, which premiered at the Smithsonian Institution in 2006.

    Shiv Shankar Mukherjee
    Former Indian High Commissioner in UK

    Shiv Shankar Mukherjee retired recently from a distinguished career with the Indian Foreign Service that culminated in his posting as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in 2008. He came to London following three years as Indian Ambassador to Nepal, where he was credited with skillful handling of the crisis in Kathmandu that led to the deposing of King Gyanendra and the holding of elections for a new constituent assembly.

    His nearly 40-year career included service in Damascus, Lusaka, Washington, Brussels, Cairo (as Ambassador) and Pretoria (as High Commissioner). He has also served as the spokesperson for the Indian Foreign Ministry and as director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Shiv Shankar Mukherjee was born in August 1949 and educated in Agra and Delhi. He took his BSc and MSc in Chemistry from Delhi University before joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1971.

    Contributing to the world of higher education is a top priority for him following his retirement, including his work with SOAS. Though he now lives in New Delhi, he has visited the School on numerous occasions and gave strong support to its recent UK-India Higher Education Partnership Programme, in which he facilitated the active participation of 15 vice chancellors of Indian universities.

    Laura Deal Lacey
    Executive Director, Milken Institute Asia

    The Milken Institute, headquartered in Santa Monica, is an international, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank committed to increasing global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. The Milken Institute Asia is based in Singapore and it produces cutting-edge research and convenes influential decision makers and leaders in finance, public policy and academia through customized peer-to-peer programs. Prior to joining the Institute, Lacey was the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, the largest American chamber in Southeast Asia.

    She and her team organized 300 business events a year, hosted regional business missions, and released research and white papers on policy issues. She reported to a board of governors comprising 18 regional CEOs of large U.S. companies. Acting as the face of the organization, Ms. Lacey represented the interest of U.S. companies in Singapore and helped advance policy and business issues that American companies face in Southeast Asia. Before moving to Asia, Lacey was based in New York. She worked as a vice president for Edelman’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability practice. Lacey started her career in Europe. She worked for six years at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva.

    She held several roles including senior partnership manager, head of corporate affairs and co-founder of WEF’s Women Leaders Programme, aimed at increasing the participation of women leaders at WEF events and ensuring that issues affecting women were addressed by the organization’s programs. Lacey is an independent, non-executive director on two corporate boards the Singapore Exchange (SGX) listed company Pacific Century Regional Development (PCRD) and the insurance company FWD Singapore.

    She is an associate member of the Singapore Institute of Directors. A dual citizen of Brazil and the U.S., Lacey holds a B.S. from Arizona State University and an M.S. from Columbia University. She is married and has three children.

    Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
    a Pakistani national, is a filmmaker and journalist whose films address life in the Muslim world, and speak to the experience of women.

    Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a Pakistani national, is a filmmaker and journalist whose films address life in the Muslim world, and speak to the experience of women. Women of the Holy Kingdom profiles women of Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan Unveiled examines the lives of ordinary citizens under U.S. military intervention. Other films, such as Pakistan’s Double Game, Reinventing the Taliban, and Terror’s Children, explore the political, social, and religious climate of Pakistan.

    Obaid-Chinoy has won numerous awards for her work. A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, which addresses honor killings in Pakistan, won the Academy Award for Documentary (Short Subject) in 2016. Saving Face, a film about acid attacks on women in Pakistan, won the Academy Award for Documentary (Short Subject) in 2012. Obaid-Chinoy has also received an International Emmy (2011), a One World Media Award for Broadcast Journalist of the Year (2007), and a South Asian Journalist Association Award (2004 and 2006).

    In 2007 Obaid-Chinoy founded the Citizens Archive of Pakistan to preserve the cultural and social heritage of Pakistan. She is also an active TED Fellow.

    Obaid-Chinoy graduated from Smith College with a Bachelor’s of Economics and Government. She subsequently received a Master’s of International Policy Studies and a Master’s of Communication from Stanford University.

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