Skip to main content
Malasree Neepa Acharya

Malasree Neepa Acharya

PhD Researcher , Political Science
+32 2 614 80 38



Malasree Neepa Acharya is a Doctoral Researcher in the Migration, Diversity and Human Rights cluster. She is also a member of the teaching team and course analyst for the Stanford Center for Professional Development’s Certificate Program in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Neepa’s research investigates the mobility and circulation of diaspora entrepreneurs of Indian origin and their impact on emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems in Global South technological hubs. Her research interests are interdisciplinary--combining qualitative ethnographic inquiry with quantitative analysis to investigate policy issues at local and global levels.

Her dissertation project, 'Brain-Gain' Return of India's High Skilled Entrepreneurs: Home, Transformation and Power in the Cosmopolitan Global South, was co-funded by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius 'Settling into Motion' Ph.D. Fellowship in Migration Studies, financing 25 months of dissertation research, writing and fieldwork across Bangalore (India), Silicon Valley (USA) and London (UK). Neepa has also held fellowships as an international scholar from the Belgian American Education Foundation, and the Vlaamse Overheid.

In her positions at Stanford, Neepa is part of the teaching team for the courses, Scaling Excellence, Strategy Driven Innovation, and Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset. She has also worked as an instructional designer to optimize courses for the online platform. At the VUB, Neepa has given a course in the Political Science department on Political Structures in Developing Countries with a focus on Cities and Development. She has also taught at the Ecole Supérieure de Communication in Brussels and gives guest lectures around the world, espousing the cosmopolitan attitudes she enjoys researching.

Applying research to policy and public service is of particular importance to Neepa. She currently serves as a member of the High Level Working Group on Diaspora for the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), organized by the World Bank and Migration Policy Institute, and regularly consults on migration, diaspora, and innovation policy. Her early research at Stanford on analyzing incentives for Alaska Native takeup of welfare and public assistance received the Robyn R. Noll Prize for Outstanding Policy Thesis as well as the CTL-URP Award for Best Thesis Presentation, and she served as a research analyst at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. She has also worked for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), with a fellowship from the Indian American Center for Political Awareness.

Neepa arrived in Belgium in 2007 to pursue her dual career in baroque violin performance through her study of historically informed performance practice at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel with world-renowned musical pedagogue, Sigiswald Kuijken. She is currently focused on combining her composition work on aleatoric improvisation with academic theory on migration, the city, and womanism in the South, to explore mixed-media connections with sound, space, movement, and voice. Her current projects, {interventions} and Poporo!, explore these themes while collaborating with a variety of dancers, designers and mask artists, and musicians from around the world.

Neepa holds degrees from Stanford University (California, USA), in Anthropology (M.A., 2007), Public Policy and Music (B.A. Hons., 2006), and the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel (Brussels, Belgium) in Historical Music (B.A. 2009, M.A. expected).

In her free time, Neepa enjoys cooking, gardening, meditation, spending time with friends and family throughout the world, taking care of her cats, practicing Bach, Biber and Berio, and entering spaces full of sound. 


Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels