Dr. Nandini Kannan is the new Executive Director of the Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF), a bilateral, autonomous organization jointly funded by the Indian and United States governments to “promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry.” She brings leadership experience in academia and government, an understanding of the critical role that science and technology play in this global inter-connected society, and a deep commitment to education and workforce development.
Dr. Kannan spent over 20 years in academia, first as a faculty member and then as Chair, Department of Management Science and Statistics at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). During her time at UTSA, she helped to develop new undergraduate and graduate programs and led a university-wide initiative on quantitative literacy. Since 2014, Dr. Kannan has served as a Program Director at the US National Science Foundation (NSF) where her responsibilities included core disciplinary research, mathematical sciences research institutes, and workforce development programs in the Division of Mathematical Sciences as well as a number of cross-directorate and cross-agency activities. She has served as a co-chair for several Data Science related activities in support of Harnessing the Data Revolution, one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. She helped to create new programs to support data science foundations as well as data-intensive research in different science and engineering domains. Dr. Kannan also helped to create partnerships with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support collaborative efforts in biomedical data science. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Indian Statistical Association (IISA) and is a former President of IISA.
Dr. Kannan received her B. Sc. in Statistics from Presidency College, Chennai and an M. Sc. degree in Statistics from the University of Madras before joining the Indian Statistical Institute as a Junior Research Fellow. She received an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in Statistics from The Pennsylvania State University under the supervision of Professor C. R. Rao. She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute.