Mr. Baijayant Panda
Dr. Shashi Tharoor
Prof. Michael Walton
Mr. Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda – Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha)
Mr. Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda is a Member of Parliament of India, Lower House (Lok Sabha), representing the Kendrapara constituency, Odisha since 2009. Earlier Mr. Panda had been twice elected to Parliament, Upper House (Rajya Sabha) in 2000 and 2006, also from the State of Odisha. He is a member of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party.
He graduated from the Michigan Technological University and, with a background in Engineering and Management, worked in the corporate sector before joining politics. He takes a keen interest in India’s foreign affairs and is involved in a number of Track 2 dialogues with the US, Japan, China, Pakistan, South Korea, etc. He has been associated with the India-USA Forum of Parliamentarians and is its Chairman.
In Parliament and public life, Mr. Panda passionately espouses the cause of his home state Odisha as well as other national issues close to his heart, such as economic development, education and information technology. He was given an award for best parliamentary practices by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in 2008.
Dr. Shashi Tharoor – Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha)
An author, politician, and former international civil servant, Dr. Shashi Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience. Currently a second-term Lok Sabha MP representing the Thiruvananthapuram constituency and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, he has previously served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. During his nearly three-decade long prior career at the United Nations, he served as a peacekeeper, refugee worker, and administrator at the highest levels, serving as Under-Secretary General during Kofi Annan’s leadership of the organisation. Dr. Tharoor is also an award-winning author of works of both fiction as well as non-fiction, with his fifteenth book released in January 2015.
Prof. Michael Walton – Senior Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Prof. Michael Walton is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, Delhi. He was V.K.R.V. Rao Chair Professor, Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bangalore for 2008 and 2009.
From 1980-2004, he worked at the World Bank, including extended periods on Indonesia and Zimbabwe, adviser to two Chief Economists, Regional Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific (1995-97), Director for Poverty Reduction (1997-2000), Chief Economist for Human Development (1999-2000) and Adviser for poverty and human development in Latin America and the Caribbean (2000-2004).
He was part of the management group for World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty, and played a central role in the design of the poverty reduction strategy process for low income countries. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked for the Central Planning and Development Office for the Government of Lesotho, 1977-79.