University | News
Professor Sheena Iyengar of Columbia Business School Joins AUWSF Board of Directors
Cambridge, United States
21, Nov, 2014

The Asian University for Women (AUW) is delighted to welcome the newest member of the Asian University for Women Support Foundation Board of Directors. Professor Sheena Iyengar was elected to the AUWSF Board of Directors in November. She is the S. T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, the Faculty Director of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center, and the Faculty Director of the Global Leadership Matrix (GLeaM) Program. We are honored to have her with us, and we look forward to a productive and enthusiastic collaboration.

Reflecting on this milestone, Professor Iyengar said, “I am so pleased to be joining the Board of the Asian University for Women Support Foundation. AUW’s intelligent, thoughtful and passionate alumnae have been a source of inspiration to me. It is my belief that AUW’s work and educational mission not only better the lives of their students, but the cultures and societies in which these women live and lead. The graduates of AUW represent the best of the next wave of global leaders.”

Professor Iyengar shares AUW’s passion for women’s empowerment in South Asia, a sentiment largely rooted in her own multicultural upbringing and personal challenges. Born in Toronto to Indian immigrant parents, Professor Iyengar moved to the United States in her youth, where she grew up surrounded by the rich cultural traditions of her Sikh neighborhood and heritage. As a child of immigrants and a newcomer to the United States herself, Professor Iyengar grew up balancing between different worlds.

Renowned for her research on choice, Professor Iyengar faced two monumental personal ordeals in her childhood that highlighted the extent to which our lives are molded by unpredictable events. As a child, Professor Iyengar discovered she had a rare inherited disease that was corroding her eyesight, and by the time she entered high school, she was completely blind. When she was 13 years old, Professor Iyengar suddenly lost her father to a heart attack. In her writings on choice, Professor Iyengar has reflected on these two events and their relationship to her personal resilience.

Now a professor at Columbia Business School, Professor Iyengar’s teaching has earned her recognition such as the Innovation in the Teaching Curriculum award from Columbia Business School and the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Core Teaching. Her accolades span beyond the classroom, as Professor Iyengar is also an accomplished writer. She has written her own book, The Art of Choosing, which was chosen as a finalist for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2010 award and being ranked #3 on the Best Books of 2010: Business & Investing Top 10. Professor Iyengar’s work has also been published in premiere academic journals across such disciplines as economics, psychology, management, and marketing, and it is regularly cited in the popular press, including the New York Times and Wall Street JournalFortune and Time magazines, the BBC and National Public Radio, television programs such as the Today Show and the Daily Show, and in bestselling books such as Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. In 2002, she was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Social Scientists.