Panelist Bios

Karan BhatiaAmbassador Karan Bhatia
Vice President and Senior Counsel, Global Government Affairs & Policy, General Electric

Ambassador Karan Bhatia serves as vice president and senior counsel, global government affairs & policy, for General Electric. In this role, he oversees GE’s engagement on public policy issues with governments around the world and works to expand the company’s presence in global markets.

Before joining GE, Bhatia served as deputy U.S. trade representative, a Presidential appointment with the rank of Ambassador, overseeing U.S. trade policy with respect to Asia and Africa. Specific achievements include negotiating the landmark U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, concluding the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral WTO Accession Agreement, founding the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum and supervising the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. Additionally, Bhatia oversaw USTR’s engagement in the areas of trade capacity building and international environmental and labor policy, and served on the boards of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Prior to joining the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Bhatia was assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation from 2003-2005. In this role, he crafted U.S. international and domestic aviation policy and supervised the negotiation of international air services agreements with more than 20 countries, including significant market liberalizing agreements with China and India. Bhatia previously served in the Department of Commerce as deputy under secretary and chief counsel for the Bureau of Industry and Security, the U.S. Government agency that administers U.S. export controls. Prior to his government service, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, where he was a member of the firm’s international and corporate groups.

Bhatia has written and spoken widely on international trade and transportation policy and has testified on many occasions before Congress. He currently serves as chairman of the board of the National Center for APEC, and is a member of the Boards of the National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, and the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. Bhatia holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Columbia University. He is married to Sara Levine Bhatia and has two children.

Stephen BiegunStephen E. Biegun
Vice President, International Governmental Affairs, Ford Motor Company

Stephen E. Biegun is a corporate officer and vice president of International Governmental Affairs for Ford Motor Company. In this role, Biegun oversees all aspects of Ford’s international governmental relations, including trade strategy and political risk assessment.

Prior to joining Ford, Biegun served as national security advisor to Senate Majority Leader, Senator Bill Frist, MD. In this capacity, he provided analysis and strategic planning for the United States Senate’s consideration of foreign policy, defense and intelligence matters, and international trade agreements.

Before joining the staff of the Majority Leader, Biegun worked in the White House from 2001-03 as executive secretary of the National Security Council. He served as a senior staff member to the National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, and performed the function of chief operating officer for the National Security Council.

Prior to joining the White House staff, Biegun served for 14 years as a foreign policy advisor to members of both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. During this time, he held the position of chief of staff of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1999-2000 and was the Committee’s senior professional staff member for European affairs from 1994-98.

In addition, Biegun served as a staff member of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs for six years. In this role, he was responsible for the foreign assistance budget, trade policy, and European affairs.

From 1992-94, Biegun served in Moscow, Russia, as the resident director in the Russian Federation for the International Republican Institute, a democracy-building organization established under the National Endowment for Democracy.

Biegun graduated from the University of Michigan where he studied Political Science and Russian Language. He is a third-generation Ford Motor Company employee. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group, and is a member of the boards of the U.S.-Russia Foundation for Economic Development and the Rule of Law, the Moscow School of Politics, Freedom House, the U.S.-Russia Business Council, the US-ASEAN Business Council and FordSollers, Ford Motor Company’s joint venture operating in the Russia Federation.

Anil ChandramaniAnil Chandramani
Chief Investment Officer and Global Client Service Executive, Chemicals & Fertilizers, International Finance Corporation

Anil Chandramani is chief investment officer & global client service executive, Chemicals & Fertilizers at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, based in Washington D.C. IFC commits between $600 million to $1.5 billion in new equity and debt investments each year in the chemicals, petrochemicals and fertilizers industry in emerging markets around the world. Among others, he was the team leader for the Meghani Finechem investment in India, which won IFC CEO’s Annual Gender Award for 2013. Prior to joining IFC, he was vice president in Fuji Bank’s Project Finance Division in Singapore, and before that, financial economist in the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., where he advised governments on policy issues focusing on private sector and financial sector development and investment promotion. Before joining the World Bank’s Young Professionals Program, he was vice president and regional corporate bank head for eastern India at Citibank, based in Calcutta, India. He started his career in the Tata Administrative Service of the Tata Group of Companies in India after completing his undergraduate studies in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, and earned his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.

Sadanand Dhume

Sadanand Dhume
Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Sadanand Dhume is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he writes on South Asian political economy, foreign policy, business and society, with a focus on India and Pakistan. Dhume has served as India bureau chief of the Far Eastern Economic Review and as Indonesia correspondent of FEER and the Wall Street Journal–Asia and is currently a South Asia columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Previously, he was Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society in Washington, D.C. He has written articles and op-eds for Foreign Policy, Forbes, Commentary, YaleGlobal, the Washington Post and other publications. His television appearances include CNN, PBS, BBC World, Al Jazeera International, CNBC Asia and ABC Television. His political travelogue about the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia, My Friend the Fanatic: Travels with a Radical Islamist, has been published in four countries. He has twice been selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world’s top 100 Twitterati. Follow him on Twitter @dhume.

P.K. KannanP. K. Kannan
Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Marketing Science and Chair, Department of Marketing, Robert H. Smith School of Business

P. K. Kannan is the Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Marketing Science at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, and the chair of the Department of Marketing. His main research focus is on marketing modeling and applying statistical and econometric methods to marketing data. His current research stream focuses on attribution modeling, media mix modeling, new product/service development and customer relationship management.

He has received several grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Mellon Foundation, SAIC and PricewaterhouseCoopers for his work in this area. His research papers have been published in Marketing Science, Management Science, the Journal of Marketing Research and the Journal of Marketing. His research was selected as a finalist for the Paul Green Award (2008, 2014) and won the prestigious John Little Best Paper Award (2008) and the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Practice Prize Award (2007). He also won the AMA/MSI Paul Root Award (2014).

Kannan is an associate editor for the Journal of Marketing Research, a senior editor for the International Journal of Research in Marketing and serves on the editorial boards of Marketing Science, the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Service Research, and the International Journal of Electronic Commerce. Kannan has served as the chair for the American Marketing Association SIG on Marketing Research and is chairing the INFORMS Service Science section.

His teaching interests include marketing modeling, pricing, customer relationship management, new product development and digital retailing. He has taught these courses in executive programs for Black & Decker, Home Depot, ARINC, McCormick and Northrup Grumman. He has corporate experience with Tata Engineering and Ingersoll-Rand and has consulted for companies such as Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, Giant Food, Black and Decker, SAIC, Fannie Mae and IBM.

Pradeep KapurAmbassador Pradeep Kumar Kapur
Visiting Clinical Professor, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Security Issues, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Ambassador Pradeep Kumar Kapur is a transformational leader and practitioner of Developmental Diplomacy for enhancing the scope and content of business across continents. He is currently working as visiting clinical professor, international trade, sustainable development and security issues at the School of Public Policy, at the University of Maryland, and as faculty mentor for the student body, DESI (Develop, Empower, Synergize India).

Kapur obtained a Bachelor of Technology degree in electrical engineering and a Master of Technology in Management and Systems from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India. He then attended Oxford University and carried out research on “Technology Transfer, Public Policy and Development Diplomacy.” In 1991, Ambassador Kapur was selected as UN Fellow with a Third World Diplomat Award, under which he taught at Georgetown University. He co-authored the book "Ta Prohm: A Glorious Era in Angkor Civilisation" and co-edited the book "India of My Dreams." His other publications include "Connecting World Heritage Sites and Civilizations," "India ASEAN Relations," and compiling "Profiles of Partnership: 50 Years of India Nepal Cooperation."

He began his career as a diplomat in 1981 in Spain. He went on to have postings as a career diplomat in Tanzania, Paris and Nepal. In 2001, Kapur was appointed as India’s Ambassador to Cambodia, and then served as India’s Ambassador to Chile (2009-13). In between his overseas postings, he served in various positions in New Delhi, including under secretary (West Europe), deputy secretary (Americas), director (South and ASEAN), Joint Secretary (SAARC), under secretary (Textiles), under secretary (Export Promotion for Chemicals and Allied Products) and deputy chief controller of Imports and Exports. As acting director general for the Indian Council of World Affairs, and as joint secretary for the Foreign Service Institute, Kapur promoted the image of India in global affairs and offered lectures and courses on diplomacy and international relations.

Sandeep KapurSandeep Kapur
Professor of Economics, Birkbeck University of London

Sandeep Kapur is a professor of economics at Birkbeck University of London. He has previously taught at the University of Cambridge and held visiting appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University. His research interests span financial regulation, technology transfer and foreign direct investment, especially outward FDI from developing countries such as China and India.

Sunil MithasSunil Mithas
Associate Professor, Decision, Operations & Information Technologies, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Sunil Mithas is a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and the author of the books Dancing Elephants and Leaping Jaguars and Digital Intelligence: What Every Smart Manager Must Have for Success in an Information Age. He earned his PhD from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and an engineering degree from IIT, Roorkee. Before pursuing his PhD, he worked for nearly ten years in engineering, marketing and general management positions with the Tata Group.

He was identified as a 2011 MSI Young Scholar by the Marketing Science Institute. The MSI Young Scholar Program selects about 20 of "the most promising 'younger' (i.e., doctorate received 3­6 years ago) academics" and a "likely leader of the next generation of marketing academics" every two years.

Mithas is a frequent speaker at industry events for senior leaders. He has worked on research or consulting assignments with organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Lear, A.T. Kearney, the Tata Group, the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Mithas’s research focuses on strategies for managing innovation and excellence for corporate transformation, focusing on the role of technology and other intangibles, such as customer satisfaction, human capital and organizational capabilities. His research has appeared in premier journals, including Management Science, Marketing Science, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Journal of Marketing, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Some of this work has been featured in business publications such as Bloomberg, CIO, Computerworld and InformationWeek. His papers have won best paper awards and have received several best paper nominations. He has also won the best reviewer award at an INFORMS conference.

Dave RyanDave Ryan
Executive Vice President and Americas Regional Head, Tata Communications

Dave Ryan is the executive vice president & Americas regional head for Tata Communications, one of the major companies of the $100.9 billion Tata group. Ryan manages Tata Communications’ regional operating strategy, business development initiatives and helps lead growth strategies for the Americas region.

Ryan plays a key strategic role in driving Tata Communications’ short- and long-term global strategy initiatives. He is also focused on expanding customer engagement and partnerships in the U.S. and throughout the greater Americas region.

Ryan has led Tata Communications’ regional growth since being hired as the first American employee in 2004. He has subsequently established the company’s significant presence in the

U.S. market, and helped grow a customer base that includes large U.S.-based multinationals and

global telecommunications carriers. He is a member of the leadership team that has also developed operations to assist these customers extend their operations globally across EMEA and Asia, and into emerging markets including India, China and South Africa.

Prior to joining Tata Communications, he was the executive vice president and chief operating officer at NTT America, a subsidiary of NTT Communications, the international and long-distance arm of NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation). He also worked in various global account and senior sales leadership roles at Sprint and Global One between 1983 and 1999.

Ryan has over 25 years of international telecommunications sales management experience, and an extensive background in developing U.S. markets for global carriers, enabling U.S.-based companies to connect globally, and working in a multi-cultural globally connected industry.

Kapil SharmaKapil Sharma
Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, North America, Wipro

Kapil Sharma currently serves as vice president for government and public affairs, North America for Wipro. He also serves as a board member of the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Prior to joining Wipro, Sharma worked in the Tata Sons North America office. Based in Washington, D.C., the office served as the chief representative for the Tata Group of companies in North America. It supports activities such as assisting Group companies with representation before the federal, state and local governments, media relations, business development, corporate social responsibility activities and brand development.

Sharma previously served as the general manager for Tata Services. Based in Mumbai, India, he primarily focused on global branding and communications. He also assisted the Tata Group of companies on various issues such as innovation, climate change and business excellence/quality management.

Before joining Tata Sons, Sharma was the vice president for Madison Government Affairs – a boutique government relations firm – representing non-U.S. clients and U.S. public entities before the U.S. Congress, Administration and federal agencies.

From 2000 to 2001, Sharma served as senior counsel and legislative director to U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli (NJ) where he managed Senator Torricelli’s legislative, policy, and correspondence staff. From 1998 to 2000, he was a legislative consultant to the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, where he assisted in the management and representation of non-U.S. clients before Congress and the Administration. From 1996 to 1998, Sharma served as a legislative assistant to Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ). While working for Congressman Pallone, among other duties, he assisted in the management of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

Sharma also has extensive political and grassroots experience having consulted on numerous federal, state and local campaigns. He managed an e-newsletter that provided daily coverage of U.S. media on South Asia and South Asian Americans. Prior to leaving for India, Sharma served on several community advocacy and civil rights organizations, as well as student mentoring programs.

Sharma received his JD from the Rutgers School of Law and his BA from Rutgers College, Rutgers University. He is also a member of the Maryland Bar Association.

Annaswamy VaidheeshAnnaswamy Vaidheesh
Vice President, South Asia, and Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Annaswamy Vaidheesh is vice president, South Asia, and managing director at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Vaidheesh is a successful senior business leader with over 28 years of diverse experience in healthcare and the FMCG domain. He has a strong track record of leadership development, as well as building leading brands and franchises across various categories and multi-cultural locations in the Asia-pacific region.

Prior to his current role he was vice president, corporate government affairs, Asia- Pacific for Johnson & Johnson based out of Singapore, and a member of their Global Leadership team for health care advocacy and policy. Before that he was managing director of Johnson & Johnson Medical India (JJMI) and vice president, Asia-Pacific- Diabetes franchise for five years.

Vaidheesh is widely recognized for chairing various initiatives with industry bodies in India and in the Asia Pacific Region. Noteworthy initiatives are Strategic MOU with China Communist Party School, India Health Insurance development and leading the health care agenda in APEC summits.

Vaidheesh holds a Bachelor of Physics degree from Madras University and a Master’s in Marketing Management from Bombay University. He is an honorary fellow of The Association of Minimal Access Surgeons of India and is a certified Process Excellence Black Belt. Vaidheesh is married and has a daughter.