The WISE Prize for Education


Prof. Asha Singh Kanwar

Position: President & Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth of Learning (Vancouver), Canada
Country: Canada

Professor Asha Singh Kanwar became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) on 1 June 2012. She has served COL for nine years, first as an Education Specialist in Higher Education and Policy and then as its Vice President for six years.

Before joining COL, Professor Kanwar was a consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO's Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA) in Dakar, Senegal.

Professor Kanwar's engagement with distance education began when she joined Indira Gandhi National Open University where she served as Professor, Director of the School of Humanities and Pro-Vice Chancellor. Professor Kanwar has over 30 years of experience in teaching, research and administration.

A recipient of several awards and fellowships, Professor Kanwar brings with her the experience of having studied and worked in different contexts, both developing and developed. She received her undergraduate, Master's and M.Phil. degrees from the Panjab University in India and a D.Phil. from the University of Sussex. She was a Fulbright Fellow for post-doctoral research at Iowa State University, where she was later invited to teach. Professor Kanwar received the International Council for Open and Distance Education Prize of Excellence in 2009.