The South Asia Initiative welcomed Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School (HBS), as its new director. Khanna has been a member of the initiative’s steering committee since 2007 and has been on the Harvard faculty since 1993. He also serves as the faculty chair for HBS’s activities in India. He is the author of “Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India are Reshaping their Future — and Yours.” Khanna succeeds the institute’s founding director and Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs Sugata Bose.

“Since its inception, Harvard’s South Asia Initiative has built strong foundations based on teaching and research partnerships,” Provost Steven E. Hyman said. “Tarun’s extensive experience, thoughtfulness, and dedication will help him guide the initiative to new levels of success and engagement across the Harvard community.”

In his new role as director, Khanna will work to advance Harvard’s research and educational mission within the field of South Asian studies, working with faculty colleagues on the institute steering committee, and reaching across the faculties of the University.

“My colleagues across the University and I are looking to build on the foundations of the institute’s past few years, and launch significant interfaculty initiatives of relevance to contemporary South Asia,” said Khanna. “There is a wealth of intellectual capital already resident at Harvard that we can tap into, and enormous student and alumni interest to boot.”

Launched in 2003, the initiative seeks to facilitate scholarly exchanges among Harvard faculty and students, the best South Asia specialists from the United States and other countries, and visiting academics and prominent public figures from South Asia. The initiative also provides grants for scholarly research and language study, and regularly sponsors lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, and music concerts that showcase the cultures of the region.

“With South Asia poised for a new era of global impact and leadership, it’s more important than ever for Harvard to build bridges with the people, cultures, institutions, and economies of the region,” said Jorge I. Dominguez, vice provost for international affairs. “This holistic and multidisciplinary approach ensures a free exchange of ideas and puts Harvard at the forefront of this growing economic and intellectual powerhouse.”

For more on the initiative, visit its website.