The University of Melbourne has appointed one of India's leading thinkers and writers on international relations, Professor Amitabh Mattoo, as the inaugural Director of the Australia India Institute.
Professor Mattoo is a Professor of Disarmament Studies at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University and has been a Member of the National Knowledge Commission, a high-level advisory group to the Prime Minister of India.
The Chairman of the Institute Board, University of Melbourne Chancellor the Hon. Alex Chernov AC QC said: “We are delighted to have as Director a person of world renowned academic and administrative calibre such as Professor Mattoo. He has a wealth of experience in areas concerned with university affairs, government and other institutions.
“We look forward to his leadership at the Australia India Institute, the principal aims of which are the promotion of greater exchange in knowledge between India and Australia in a range of areas of mutual interest.”
Professor Mattoo was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu from 2002 to 2008. He received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford and has been a visiting Professor at Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Illinois, and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. He has published extensively, writes regularly for Indian newspapers and is a well-regarded commentator.
He has been awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian awards, for his contribution to education and public life.
“I consider the appointment to be a great honour as well as a great responsibility. I am confident that we can meet the challenge of building a world-class institute in Melbourne with a focus on India. I am thankful to the Chancellor and the Board for reposing this trust in me,” Professor Mattoo said.
He will take up his three-year appointment in Melbourne in April 2011.
See Professor Mattoo's blog The Global Villager.