The WISE Awards


Dr. Rajika Bhandari

Position: Senior Advisor, Research and Strategy, Director, IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact, Institute of International Education (IIE)
Country: United States of America

Rajika Bhandari provides strategic guidance to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) research, evaluation and thought leadership activities and directs IIE’s Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact. She leads the flagship Open Doors and Project Atlas projects on global student mobility, and advises impact studies of international fellowship, scholarship, and exchange programs for clients that include U.S. and foreign government agencies, foundations, and multilateral agencies. Dr. Bhandari has over twenty years of executive and management experience in the nonprofit, private and higher education sectors, and serves as a senior spokesperson for IIE with the press and with key stakeholders globally. She is a frequent speaker and widely published author with over 50 publications, including five books, and has written for the Guardian, Times Higher Ed, the Huff Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and University World News, with her work covered by NPR, PRI International, the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Quartz, and Time.

Prior to joining IIE, Dr. Bhandari was a Senior Researcher at MPR Associates (now part of RTI International) in Berkeley, California, where she managed educational research projects and evaluations for a range of U.S. government clients, including the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director for Evaluation at the Mathematics and Science Education Network (MSEN) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has also served as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Bhandari served as a Commissioner on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for AIFS Study Abroad, on the Board of Trustees of the AIFS Foundation, and on the Advisory Committee of International Career and College Counseling (IC3). She holds a B.A. (Honors) in Psychology from the University of Delhi, India, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from North Carolina State University in the U.S.