Head of Research, Policy & Practice
Director, IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research & Impact
Dr. Rajika Bhandari provides strategic oversight of IIE’s research, impact and thought leadership activities and directs IIE’s Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact, where she also leads the Open Doors and Project Atlas projects on global student mobility. Through the Center, Dr. Bhandari also provides leadership of short-term and longitudinal evaluations and impact studies of international fellowship, scholarship, and exchange programs for external clients that include U.S. government agencies, foundations, and multilateral agencies. She brings to her role at IIE over twenty years of executive and management experience in educational research and program evaluation in the nonprofit, private and higher education sectors. Dr. Bhandari serves on several international education advisory groups, and is a frequent speaker and widely published author on global student mobility with five books on the subject. She also brings to her work in international education a strong background in gender and education in developing countries, with a focus on Asia. Dr. Bhandari serves on the Board of Advisors for AIFS Study Abroad, and as a Commissioner on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.
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. Dr. Bhandari 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.