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Board of Directors

The 1947 Partition Archive's Board of Directors come from diverse backgrounds and are lending their knowledge, time and expertise in governance.

Dr. Narinder Kapany (Honorary Chair - USA)

Dr. Narinder Kapany is a physicist best known for his pioneering work in fiber-optics, a term he coined in 1960. His research and inventions have encompassed fiber-optics communications, lasers, biomedical instrumentation, solar energy and pollution monitoring. He has over 100 patents, and was a member of the National Inventors Council. He has received many awards including 'The Excellence 2000 Award' from the USA Pan-Asian American Chamber of Commerce in 1998. He is a Fellow of numerous scientific societies including the British Royal Academy of Engineering, the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a Regents Professor at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), and at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). He was also Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) at UCSC for seven years. At Stanford University, he was a Visiting Scholar in the Physics Department and Consulting Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. As an artist, Dr. Kapany has created 40 "dynoptic" sculptures which were first displayed in a one-man show at the Exploratorium of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco in 1972. Since then, the collection has been viewed at museums and art galleries in Chicago, Monterey, Palo Alto, and Stanford. In 1947, Dr. Kapany was 19 and single handedly helped thwart a mob that was seeking to attack a worker at his home.

Dr. Syed Babar Ali (Honorary Chair - Pakistan)

Syed Babar Ali is a Pakistani businessman, philanthropist and former Finance Minister of Pakistan. As an entrepreneur and industrialist, Syed Babar Ali envisioned and set up Packages Limited (Pakistan’s largest paper & board mill), Milkpak Limited–now Nestlé Pakistan Limited (the largest food processing company in Pakistan); Tetra Pak Pakistan Limited, IGI Insurance Company Limited, Tri-Pack Films Limited, and IGI Investment Bank. He is Chairman of Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan Limited, Siemens Pakistan Engineering Company Limited, and Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited. He led the establishment of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in 1985 of which he is the first Pro-Chancellor. LUMS is Pakistan’s premier management education institution. In 1992, he founded the Ali Institute of Education for training primary and secondary school teachers. He is a member of the Board of the following important educational institutions of Lahore: Aitchison College, Kinnaird College, and Lahore School of Economics. He is also a Founding Member of the South Asia Initiative of Harvard University and the Co-Chair of South Asia Centre for Policy Studies currently based in Nepal. He served as Pakistan’s Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs & Planning in 1993. He was International President of World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund, "WWF") from 1996 to 1999 succeeding Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He is now Vice President Emeritus, WWF International, and President Emeritus WWF-Pakistan. He set up Babar Ali Foundation in 1985. The Foundation primarily supports education and health in Pakistan. He is also a member of Layton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust Karachi and Shalamar Hospital Lahore. He has received honors and awards from the Government of Sweden, the Netherlands, an OBE from Britain (1997), and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Laws from McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1997).

Mr. Arun Seth (Chairman - India)

Arun Seth is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta and has worked in senior commercial positions in the UB Group and HCL among others for the last 40 years. He has been the non-Executive Chairman of Alcatel-Lucent India since May 2011. He has worked for BT Group in India in a variety of positions over 17 years before retiring in July 2012 as non-Executive Chairman. He was on the board of Tech Mahindra (earlier Mahindra BT) since inception, on the board of Airtel Board untill 2002, as well as Jubilant Foodworks (Dominos), Cadista Pharma (a Jubilant group co) in USA, Centum Learning (a Bharti Group co), Usha Breco Ltd, Samtel Avionics (in a JV with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd). He is a Charter Member of TiE Delhi, Indian Angel Network and on the Advisory Board for National Entrepreneurship network. He is deeply interested and actively involved in philanthropy and has served on NGO boards such as Helpage India where he chairs the Resource Committee, Katha, SPIC-MACAY and India Sponsor Foundation. He is also a Trustee of The Nasscom Foundation, which drives CSR initiatives for the IT Industry.

Mr. Eliot Sun (Board Member - USA)

Eliot is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder at Kloudless. He leads the company in its mission to make it easy for developers to build integrations. Eliot’s earlier experiences include product management roles at Check Point Software and Blackberry. Eliot attended the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with degrees in Mathematics, Economics, and three additional minors.

Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla (Chairperson & Founder - USA)

Guneeta Singh Bhalla is the Founder and Executive Director of The 1947 Partition Archive. In 1947 her father's family migrated from Lahore to Amritsar on August 14.  Prior to her present work, she was an experimental condensed matter physicist and completed her tenure as a post-doctoral researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley, in December 2012. She studied quantum confinement at interfaces that include oxide heterostructures and domain walls in multiferroics.  A selection of published research can be found at Nature.com, Physical Review Letters and other publications. After a 2008 visit to the oral testimony archives at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial she was inspired and began interviewing Partition survivors in 2010. In 2011 The 1947 Partition Archive was born. She has personally interviewed over 100 Partition survivors and rallied volunteers to join in building the grassroots foundations of this people-powered organization. Select pieces from her writing on The 1947 Partition Archive can be found at the Economic Times and Business Standard (syndicated at Reddiff).

Mr. Kaushik Datta (Board Member - India)

(bio coming soon)

Dr. Kavita Daiya (Board Member - USA)

Kavita Daiya is Associate Professor in the Department of English, and affiliated faculty in the Women’s Studies Program, the Asian Studies Program, the Sustainability Program, and the Global Women’s Institute at George Washington University in Washington DC. In AY 2015-2016, she holds a visiting NEH Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Albright College (2015-2016). In the past, she has served as Director of the M.A. Program in English (2010-2014), and Executive Committee Member of the Women's Studies Program at GWU. Kavita has a BA from the University of Rochester and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Chicago. Her research revolves around global migration, gender, cultural representations, and human rights in an international context, with considerable focus on gender and the 1947 Partition of India. Her courses are often cross-listed with Women's Studies Program, American Studies, the Sustainability Program, and Asian Studies. She is the author of several articles appearing in journals and edited volumes, and a book Violent Belongings: Partition, Gender, and National Culture in Postcolonial India (Temple UP: [2008] 2011; New Delhi: Yoda Press, 2013). Daiya has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University, a Ford Foundation Research Fellow at The Globalization Project at the University of Chicago, Mellon Regional Faculty Fellow at the Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania, and Research Fellow at the Global Women's Institute at GWU. She also teaches in GW's Online Learning Initiative and is the founder and Director of a 2008 digital humanities initiative focused on Histories of Migration and Violence: www.1947Partition.org. She serves as Associate Editor of the South Asian Review, and as a Trustee of the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA

Dr. Priya Satia (Board Member - USA)

Professor Priya Satia specializes in modern British and British empire history, especially in the Middle East and South Asia and is presently a full Professor at the Department of History, Stanford University. Professor Satia uses the methods of cultural history to study the evolution of the material infrastructure of the modern world in the age of empire--state institutions, military technologies, economic development. Her work examines the ways in which the imperial past has shaped the present and how the ethical dilemmas it posed were understood and managed. Professor Satia has explored these questions in studies of British policing of the Middle East in the era of World War One, the invention of radio during the Boer War, the British Indian development of Iraq, state secrecy in mass-democratic Britain, the gun-making exploits of a Quaker family during the industrial revolution, and other projects. Her work on aerial policing has also informed her analysis of American drone use in the Middle East. Professor Satia also works on the Partition of British India in 1947.

Dr. Raashina Humayun (Board Member - USA)

Raashina Humayun is an innovation and engineering leader at Lam Research Corporation. She is an IIT Delhi Alumnus and has degrees in Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and The Ohio State University. Raashina holds more than 40 patents and has lead path breaking technical advances in the semiconductor industry that are embedded in most devices we use today. She is passionate about innovation and education and also supports several social and environmental causes.

Raashina’s grandfather was a freedom fighter in the quest for Independence from British Rule. Both her parents are retired professors at the Aligarh Muslim University . She grew up in Aligarh in a vibrant multicultural academic environment and did her elementary schooling in East Africa where she was exposed to a hugely diverse world and had the opportunity to grow up amongst families from all over the world. She especially cherishes her friends from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and wishes more children had the opportunity to grow up knowing others from across the borders that were formed by the partition.

Raashina lives in Los Altos, California with her husband and two sons.