Chargé d’Affaires, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens

5:00–6:30 pm
Center in Delhi


The University of Chicago Center in Delhi and International Innovations Corps Leadership Speaker Series.

Address by Chargé d’Affaires, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens
(By invitation only)


5:00 pm: Registration

5:20: Ambassador Stephens arrives and chats with IIC fellows

5:30: Welcome Aditi Mody, Deputy Director

5:35: Remarks by U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Co-Chair Senate India Caucus through Video Link

5:45: Introduction of Chargé d’Affaires, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens by Aditi Mody

5:50: Special Address by Chargé d’Affaires, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens

6:20: Question & Answer Session

6:30: Vote of Thanks by Aditi Mody

6:35: Networking reception

Ambassador Kathleen Stephens is the United States Chargé d'Affaires ad interim to India.  Chargé d’Affaires Stephens will lead the U.S. Mission’s work in continuing to advance the U.S.-India strategic partnership, and looks forward to working closely with the new Indian government.

Ambassador Stephens served in the U.S. Foreign Service 1978-2013, achieving the rank of Career Minister.  She was Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in 2012, and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, 2008 to 2011.

Ambassador Stephens’ diplomatic career included service in numerous posts in Washington, Asia, and Europe.  She was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP), and before that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR), focused on post-conflict and stabilization issues in the Balkans.  Other Washington assignments included Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, Senior United Kingdom Country Officer in the European Bureau, and Director of the State Department’s Office of Ecology and Terrestrial Conservation in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Scientific Affairs.

Her overseas postings included Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal (1998-2001), and U.S. Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland (1995-1998) during the consolidation of ceasefires and negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement.  Earlier foreign assignments included consular and public affairs officer in Guangzhou, China, chief of the internal political unit in Seoul, principal officer of the U.S. Consulate in Busan, Korea, and political officer in fracturing Yugoslavia.

Ambassador Stephens’ U.S. government awards include Linguist of the Year in 2010, and the 2009 Presidential Meritorious Service Award.  Other awards and recognition include the Korean government’s Sejong Cultural Prize and the Korea-America Friendship Association Prize in 2013, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, and the Kwanghwa Medal of Diplomatic Merit from the Korean government.

Kathleen Stephens was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up in Arizona and Montana.  She holds a BA (Honors) in East Asian studies from Prescott College, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and honorary doctoral degrees from Chungnam National University and the University of Maryland.  She studied at the University of Hong Kong.  She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea in the 1970s.

(UChicago students can apply for the 2015-16 International Innovation Corps program here.  Applicants for Indian fellowships can check here for more information.)

The University of Chicago Center in Delhi has announced the launch of an ambitious fellowship programme, the ‘International Innovations Corps (IIC)’. The fellowship programme aims to jump start the process of solution-based innovation in the Indian public sector. With the help of local stakeholders, it provides local governments the human resources and knowledge partners to enable change.  Specifically, the IIC recruits, trains and send teams of recent University of Chicago and leading Indian university graduates to work on ambitious development projects with the Indian government for one year.

Under the aegis of the International Innovation Corps (IIC), the University of Chicago Center in Delhi has started a Leadership Speaker Series. U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, introduced the series by talking about the importance of building relationships between the two countries through programs such as the IIC.  Aditi Mody, Deputy Director, The University of Chicago Center in Delhi introduced the inaugural guest speaker, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, India. In her address to the participants she said “The United States and India share a strong and growing economic relationship, driven by entrepreneurial and visionary individuals, institutions, and businesses in both countries. These relationships allow us to work through issues and find common ground to facilitate investment in both directions and accelerate growth and prosperity for both our countries”.

The International Innovation Corps (IIC) is led by co-founder Anup Malani (Professor of Law at the University of Chicago) and co-founder Phoebe Holtzman (researcher at the University of Chicago). Sanjay Bhargava, the key financial architect of PayPal, is also a co-founder. The IIC takes top-performing graduates of the University of Chicago and leading Indian universities, organizes them into teams of 5 fellows, trains the fellows for 5 weeks in skills required to translate their academic knowledge into ‘on-the-ground’ contributions, and embeds each team with a government official in the Indian government to work on a discrete, tractable but innovative development project for a period of 13 months. The IIC provides light-touch managers and mentors to help teams of fellows achieve their project’s goals.

“Through this initiative, graduates from top universities will be able to play a role in building impactful solutions for the world’s immense social problems. Moreover, IIC’s approach will greatly increase the chances that the individual projects will succeed and that new skills and mentalities will be embedded in and retained by the host institutions,” explains Anup Malani, Director of the fellowship programme.

According to Bharath Visweswariah, Executive Director, The University of Chicago Center in Delhi, “In 2014, the IIC is hosting three teams. They will be working on three projects in India: designing a model charter city outside Delhi with the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation, expanding the use of solar technologies for rural electrification across India with Central Electronics Limited, and establishing sustainable job creation and vocational training programs in India’s textile sector with the National Skills Development Corporation. In 2015 and 2016, the IIC hopes to expand to 10 projects and then 20 projects, respectively. After that the IIC will consider expanding to countries other than India.”

Online press coverage of the IIC and the event included Business Standard and The Economic Times and The Economic Times again.