Dr Vibha Dhawan’s long association with The Energy and Resources Institute dates back to 1985. During 2005-2007 she led TERI School of Advanced Studies in the capacity of Vice-Chancellor. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India and is currently also serving as an Adjunct Professor, at Consul General South Asia Partnership, Michigan State University. Being driven by a deep academic and research interest, Dr Dhawan has authored 6 books and over 50 publications, which have added immense value in scientific research.
Dr Dhawan’s thought leadership and engagement in research as well as policy development, both at the national and international level is widely acknowledged. She is currently a task force member of National Committees with the Department of Biotechnology, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, and the Biotech Consortium India. Dr Dhawan is currently a member of the Networks Strategy Council that advises Sustainable Development Solutions Network – a global initiative for the United Nations and was previously the Co-Chair of the T20 Task Force 4 on Refuelling Growth: Clean Energy and Green Transitions. Under her able leadership, the National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping, in collaboration with Indian Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, was established at TERI campus.
She played a pivotal role as Co-ordinator for the Asia Pacific Consortium on Agriculture Biotechnology (APCoAB); as Advisor to the Director General, The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) as well as Deputy Director, Research Partnerships & Co-ordination with the Borlaug Institute for South Asia. She has served on the boards of prestigious organizations in India and overseas including Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Ambedkar University, Ayurvet Foundation and Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI).
Dr Dhawan was instrumental in establishing the highly successful Micropropagation Technology Park at TERI. Her other major achievements include developing e-contents for the post-graduate programme in biotechnology for the University Grants Commission. Her recent research interests are in the area of biofuels.
She was the key lead for the DBT-TERI Centre on Integrated Production of Advanced Biofuels and Biocommodities. Her role as an advisor to the Late Tarun Gogoi, the former Chief Minister of Assam specifically in the field of Bioresources and Biotechnology is worth placing on record.
The honour bestowed upon Dr Dhawan as one of Game-Changers from India by H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, a respected Cabinet Member and the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence in the UAE is another feather in her cap. She has been also conferred with the Woman in Agriculture Award, and Social Impact Leadership Award in 2023. Several other awards Dr Dhawan won include Indian Women Achievers Sammaan 2017 by NRI Achievers; Women Leadership Agriculture Award 2016 by the Indian Council of Food & Agriculture; First Biotech Product and Process Development and Commercialization Award of the Department of Biotechnology in 2000, the Kamal Kumari National Award for Science and Technology and the first All India Biotech Association (AIBA) award in 1998.