Padmashree is a leading expert on trade policy, innovation policy, and economic development. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Aalborg, Denmark and a Professorial Fellow at the United Nations University-MERIT.
She bring over two decades of experience in policy forecasting and analysis, policy design and implementation of relevance to global and national governance in various sectors, particularly life sciences, digital economy and renewable energy. She has a background in development policy and practice with a focus on trade, technology, intellectual property and competition. On these issues, she has worked with a range of international organisations, national governments, regional agencies and companies influencing policy and strategic decision making by assessing and predicting the emergence of new market segments and trends, current and future competition patterns, and identifying strategic areas of intervention to promote change. Most recently, she served as Head-Policy of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
At Berkman, her research particularly focuses on the ways in which the digital technologies empower and facilitate change at the individual and collective levels. She works on topics such as the design and implementation of national digital development strategies; the regulation of digital competition; the role of digital technologies in developmental outcomes (incl. SDGs), AI and structural inequality, among others. She is also a Senior Advisor of the Center's GAiA Program engaged on issues of drug pricing, digital health and trade barriers for access to medicines.
Padmashree’s past research has focused extensively on evaluating how international and national policies and strategies (technology, intellectual property, trade and competition) impact economic performance in several industrial sectors across countries, and what factors, in turn matter to shape these into sustainable developmental outcomes. She has a keen sensibility of how future markets will develop and what companies and governments need to do to prepare for a better tomorrow, especially to promote technological change while taking into account institutional and other (macroeconomic, structural or trade related) factors. Coming from an inter-disciplinary background with economics, law, trade and technology perspectives, a number of her previous research projects look at these processes in a comparative regional perspective (developing-developed, or African-Asian-Latin American) across several sectors, or on topics of general importance, such as assessing the role of technology in the green economy, and technological change for sustainable development. She has over 60 publications on these issues including five books, and has served or continues to serve on a number of scientific Boards, including the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Board on Trade and Employment. She has also worked at the United Nations in various capacities over the years, and has also previously been on a professorship for innovation and development at the Open University in the UK.
Research, Teaching and More
She is committed to promoting a more diverse discourse, including the use of new frameworks on methodologies, to understand issues related to technology and inequality. She is the founder of rights2100, which seeks to promote frameworks that re-articulate the notion of individual rights and social responsibility in the new data economy. She also teaches core courses on institutional economics, development economics, the political economy of development, science, technology and society in various institutions.