Prof. Sasmita Samanta is an accomplished academician and academic administrator with more than 25 years of experience in strategizing excellence in professional and technical education. Currently donning the mantle of Professor of Management and Vice-Chancellor of KIIT Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, India, she is leading the institution’s transformation into a world-class university.

Prof. Samanta’s intellectual capabilities is manifested in distinctions as Ph.D. (Management); a Stanford LEAD Alumna and Stanford Distinguished Scholar, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA; Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA, UK); and Fellow of Computer Society of India (FCSI, India). She has been trained in leadership from the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), USA. and CSC Leaders programme, Common Purpose Charitable Trust, UK. Her academic areas of interest and specialisation include Organisational Behaviour, Human Development, Spiritualism and Leadership.

She is a visionary, inspirational, pragmatic, and engaged leader with a deep commitment to creating a sustainable ecosystem for all stakeholders in her sphere of involvement. Before taking over as Vice-Chancellor, she served in various key positions, including Pro-Vice Chancellor and Registrar, during her over two-and-half decades of illustrious stint at KIIT.

Her key contributions have been the maintenance of a participative and transparent governance system, the introduction of an Activity-based Learning System in all programmes across the university and the development and maintenance of a student-centric ambiance on the campus. She has pioneered the implementation of several technology-enabled innovations at KIIT, including e-evaluation and use of innovation technology in the teaching-learning process, which has been running successfully with more than 25,000 users and 4000 process owners.

Prof. Sasmita Samanta receiving an award.

Above all, she has brought decisiveness; a strong commitment to quality, diversity, and belongingness; and exceptional leadership in mobilizing and operationalizing the path forward. These have translated into KIIT-DU’s rapid ascent as one of the country’s leading higher education institutions with impressive positions in national and global rankings, including the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.     

As a Member of the Academic Council of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and Ambassador of University Grants Commission Paramarsh Scheme, KIIT-DU, a scheme which helps many institutes to get NAAC accreditation and good ranking nationally. She has been guiding them on their way to excellence.

Besides her role as the Vice-Chancellor of KIIT-DU, Prof. Samanta is also the Chairperson of KIIT Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI). Currently, KIIT-TBI is supporting 235+ budding technology-driven entrepreneurs to convert their new ideas into business processes or products. As many as 65 start-ups have received national and international awards, while more than 50 have received follow-on funding worth 350 crores. Over 4000+ jobs have been generated by the incubatees till date. Prof. Samanta has mentored more than 10000 potential entrepreneurs and incubatees to date.

She is the Founder-President of World Leadership Academy, which serves as a platform for global leaders to address issues from diverse domains with intellectual freedom. The organization is also functioning to encourage diverseness in research, teaching and publication from all researchers and scientists. It plans to engage with the government, NGOs, institutions and businesses and provide solutions to diverse issues and create a positive impact.

As a distinguished academician, Prof. Samanta has been entrusted with important roles in many academic bodies of the country. These include Assessor and Committee Member, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). She has immensely contributed to professional bodies such as the Indian Science Congress, Indian Academy of Social Sciences, Indian Commerce Association, Odisha Commerce Association, etc. 

Prof. Sasmita Samanta is a prolific public speaker, who has delivered over 500 keynote addresses and lectures in diverse fields of education and human development at different conferences, seminars, faculty development programmes, including Human Resource Development Centres of UGC. She has published many research articles, authored/co-authored books and edited books.

She is also actively involved in different social outreach programmes of KIIT-DU like ‘Kanya Kiran’ (a programme to check violence against girl children) and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). Under the Education for All initiative, she has connected with and motivated around 1.5 million children to participate in higher education in the last ten years. Under her leadership, Education Summits on the theme ‘Education for All’ are organised in all districts of Odisha and 30 major cities and state capitals of the country every year.

For her noteworthy contributions to academia & industry, multifarious social outreach and entrepreneurial activities as well as social innovations, she has received many national and international fellowships and awards. Some of her recent recognitions include: ‘Distinguished Scholar’ in the Wall of Fame by Stanford LEAD; ‘India’s Most Emerging Educationist of the Year-Female’ Award at the Make In India Emerging Leader Awards 2021; ‘Inspirational Leaders of India’ Award at the White Page Leadership Conclave 2021; ‘Times Power Women 2021-Odisha’; ‘Asia One Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Award 2020-21″ at the 14th Edition of Asia Africa Business & Social Forum: Awards & Business E-Summit; ‘Excellence in Education’ Award at the XGRAD 2022 Higher Education Summit and many more.

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