Padma Desai, Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems and Director of the Center for Transition Economies at Columbia University, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was President of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies in 2001. She was U.S. Treasury’s Advisor to the Russian Finance Ministry in the summer of 1995. She received her Ph. D. in economics from Harvard University in 1960 where she began her teaching career.
Professor Desai has published extensively in professional journals on issues of economic planning in the Soviet Union before she switched her research agenda to economic reforms in Russia and the emerging market economies. Her latest writings focus on the globalization of these economies and their exposure to financial crisis.
Professor Desai has combined her scholarly activity with frequent writings in the New York Times, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and appearances on the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, CNN, BBC, Debates-Debates, Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and the Charlie Rose Show