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Vinika Rao

Vinika Devasar Rao

Executive Director, INSEAD Africa Initiative & Hoffmann Institute, Asia.

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Executive Director, INSEAD Africa Initiative & Hoffmann Institute, Asia.

Dr. Rao is Executive Director, INSEAD Africa Initiative & Hoffmann Institute, Asia and Adjunct Professor, INSEAD and Singapore Management University. She sits on several Boards and Advisory Boards, including TiE Singapore; European Women on Boards; LiveWithAI; Nine by 9, Singapore; Kali Theatre, UK; and Hearth Ventures, India. She advises & trains global organizations on Diversity & Inclusion and Sustainability initiatives. She is also Ambassador, Power Women of India; International Advisory Committee, Mody University for Women & SP Jain Return to Work Programme; Ambassador, She2030 (Europe); Representative, United Nations HeForShe Alliance and Global Business School Network; and Advisory Council, Board MatchUp (Asia). 

Vinika’s research and teaching is in diversity & inclusion, allyship, inter-generational influences on the future of work and sustainability. She is frequently invited to speak on related topics and is quoted/ published in leading business publications. She started her career with a multinational bank and went on to become Managing Director of an Asian conglomerate, before making a serendipitous transition to education. Prior to joining INSEAD she was Associate Professor of Strategy at S.P. Jain School of Global Management. She has taught MBA, EMBA and undergraduate students and conducted specialised programmes for corporate clients. She is an alumna of INSEAD, (International Directors Programme), Singapore Management University (DBA, award-winning doctorate in leadership diversity), IIM Bangalore (MBA, Dean’s list), and has completed various management programs at INSEAD and CEIBS. 

Vinika believes that business has the potential to be a force for good, led by managers who value social impact and are committed to the UN Sustainability Development Goals. She is passionate about supporting under-represented group managers to make fulfilling work-life decisions, aiming to do this through active sponsorship rather than mentorship alone. She strives to engage all genders in the effort to foster DEI in their organizations and communities. 

You can follow Vinika on Twitter at @VinikaDRao or connect with her on LinkedIn at