BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Saying she's done bold research in entrepreneurship, the Kauffman Foundation announced the appointment of SPEA faculty member Sameeksha Desai as director of knowledge creation and research.
After assuming the full-time position in January, 2018, Desai will be on leave from the faculty post she has held at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) since 2010.
The Kauffman Foundation, based in Kansas City, Mo., supports grants, initiatives and programs that support education and entrepreneurship. Desai will lead research strategy aimed at determining why entrepreneurship has declined in the U.S. and what would work best to empower entrepreneurs and reverse the decline.
"SPEA's mission is to advance knowledge for the greater good and I'm looking forward to applying that mindset to my work at the foundation," Desai said. "We can shape economic empowerment in a way that develops businesses, provides jobs, and strengthens communities."
Victor Hwang, vice president of entrepreneurship, said Desai will take charge of the development and implementation of the foundation's research strategy: "She has done bold, cutting-edged research in political economy, in particular how entrepreneurship can renew and revitalize societies that have suffered from conflict, instability and entrenched poverty. She cares passionately about the practical impact of scholarship on real-world applications, and on harnessing research to empower entrepreneurs, policymakers and many other stakeholders.
Desai teaches courses in entrepreneurship and economic development policy. She has been the academic director of SPEA's Rwanda study abroad program and associate director of IU's Institute for Development Strategies and is affiliated with the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum. Desai is the author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, reports and a recent book.