Monterey Institute of International Studies

Sunder Ramaswamy

President & Chief Academic Officer

Sunder Ramaswamy is the president of the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Distinguished College Professor of International Economics.

Ramaswamy assumed the presidency in 2009 at a critical juncture for the Monterey Institute, shepherding the institution through integration with Middlebury College, as well as an ambitious academic reorganization initiative. During his tenure, the Institute has successfully launched new degree programs in nonproliferation and terrorism studies, international education management and international trade and economic diplomacy, as well as three new research centers (the Center for the Blue Economy, the Center for Conflict Studies, and the Center for Social Impact Learning), a cyber security initiative, and a number of other innovative initiatives. Still, he draws the greatest inspiration from the Institute's own students: "We train future leaders, preparing them with a rigorous and pragmatic academic curriculum and immersive learning experiences to make a difference in the world – to 'be the solution.'"

Ramaswamy is widely recognized for his scholarly and professional work in international and development economics, particularly in India and Africa. He has written and edited books, authored articles for a variety of scholarly journals focused on development and international economics, delivered presentations at international conferences on four continents, and been quoted in local, national, and international media. In 2011, the Monterey County Business Council recognized him with their Economic Vitality Award in the Education category. In 2014, he was recognized with the Hind Rattan award by the government of India.

Prior to his transition to Monterey, Ramaswamy served as Middlebury College's Frederick C. Dirks Professor of International Economics, the dean for faculty development and research, and the project director of the Middlebury-Monterey Integration Task Force. He has also served as the director of the Madras School of Economics in Chennai, India, one of India's premier institutes for graduate education and economics research, where he continues to serve as a visiting professor. He is also an associate fellow at the CIRANO research center in Montreal, Canada.

He received his Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University in 1991, in addition to an M.S. from Purdue, an M.A. in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and a B.A. in economics from St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi, India.

Ramaswamy is currently working on projects fostering economic reforms in India. He has also been involved with USAID and INTSORMIL projects on agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa. His teaching and other academic work has been supported by grants from the Davis Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Kellogg Foundation. He has also been a consultant to UNCTAD, UNIDO, the United Nations University, and the World Bank.

Ramaswamy, his wife, Varna, and their son, Srivatsan, live in Monterey.

Publications: Articles in journals including Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Systems, Applied Economics, Comparative Economic Studies, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Economics Letters, Environment, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, and Outlook on Agriculture.

Media Coverage: Asia Times Online, China Central TV, The Deccan Chronicle, The Diplomatist, The Economic Times, Education World, The Hindu, India Today, India West, Industrial Economist, The Monterey Herald, The New Indian Express, SIFY.com, Time (Asia & Europe editions), and Vermont Public Radio.

Earlier Positions:

  • Frederick C. Dirks Professor of International Economics
  • Project Director, Middlebury-Monterey Integration Task Force
  • Dean for Faculty Development and Research, Middlebury College
  • Acting Dean of Faculty, Middlebury College
  • Director, the Madras School of Economics, Chennai, India
  • Chair, Economics Department (three terms) Middlebury College

Teaching: Recipient of awards and recognitions for his teaching at Purdue University and Middlebury College, including the Marjorie Lamberti Faculty Appreciation Award.

Presentations: In Austria, Canada, China, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Over 100 talks at seminars in India and the USA.

Books co-authored or co-edited:

  • Development and Democracy: New Perspectives on an Old Debate
  • Economics—An Honors Companion
  • Social Capital and Economic Development: Well-Being in Developing Countries
  • The Economics of Agricultural Technology in Semi-arid Sub-Saharan Africa

Board Memberships

  • The Asia Foundation (vice chair)
  • International School of Monterey (vice chair) 
  • Monterey County Higher Education & Research Cluster
  • Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation