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Sonalde Desai

Advisory Board

Sonalde Desai is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at University of Maryland and the Centre Director of NCAER-National Data Innovation Center in New Delhi. Sonalde is a demographer whose work deals primarily with social transformation and its impact on the lives of individuals with a focus on education, employment, gender, and maternal and child health.

She leads the India Human Development Survey of over 40,000 households, one of the few national panel surveys in India providing a rich and free public resource for studying the transformation of Indian society in the 21st Century. Since April 2020, Sonalde and her colleagues at NDIC have carried out telephone surveys around COVID-related experiences in the Delhi National Capital Region.

Sonalde is a frequent contributor to Indian newspapers and serves on the editorial board of the Population and Development Review. She received a Ph.D. from Stanford University and post-doctoral training at the University of Chicago and RAND Corporation. Desai has recently been elected President of the Population Association of America.