Nepali Academics in America

Udaya Wagle
President, NACA

Dear NACA Friends, 

It is a matter of great pride for NACA as a young organization to host this inaugural conference! Conceived as an abstract idea among a few of us in the fall of 2019, this organization has already come a long way. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down and made organizing a conference in-person next to impossible. Yet, organizing one online less than a year after NACA’s formal registration as a nonprofit organization is a major milestone in and of itself! 

NACA is “an independent, professional, and non-partisan network, established to enhance collaboration among Nepali academics and scholars affiliated with higher education and research institutions based in the United States of America.” As captured in its theme—Collaboration for Knowledge Production—this conference will “showcase the intellectual diversity and scholarly depth of Nepali academics, and … facilitate collaboration for knowledge production and sharing around the world.” 

Structured around 15 panel and paper presentation sessions, the conference will host over 70 scholars and researchers from around the world. This interdisciplinary platform includes presentation of cutting-edge and impactful research by both early career and highly accomplished professionals across many disciplines. The value of this conference is not just in presenting and improving ongoing research focusing on a variety of topics relevant to Nepal and Nepali communities. Its greater value, in fact, comes from networking with scholars and researchers across many disciplines and finding ways to collaborate for a continuous quest to understand many critical issues from Nepal and offer insights for the benefit of Nepal and Nepalis. 

Organizing a conference and putting together a fully integrative and streamlined program delivered online is a tall order. On behalf of the NACA Executive Council as well as the entire NACA community, I would like to thank and congratulate Drs. Netra Chhetri and Dinesh Paudel (co-chairs) and each member of the Conference Organizing Committee for investing their invaluable time and efforts in planning and executing all of the necessary tasks. My special appreciation goes to Dr. Milan Shrestha, Secretary of the NACA Executive Council, for spearheading the conference communication and technical management pivotal to this virtual event. I am also grateful for the efforts made by all of the conference presenters from so many disciplines and around the world. 

I would like to invite everyone interested in Nepal and Nepali communities to check out the exciting lineup of panel and paper presentations. Dr. Amir Sapkota from the University of Maryland will be our plenary keynote speaker focusing on “Emerging Knowledge on Climate Change: Responding to Threats and Opportunities.” Please register for the conference and attend any and all of the sessions that interest you and help make this event a success. To encourage participation by our Nepali colleagues, NACA is also waiving the registration fee for anyone participating directly from Nepal. Please help us spread the word for wider participation.

I am confident that this inaugural conference will lay the foundation for more interdisciplinary and comprehensive events in future, which, hopefully, can be hosted in-person. That way, we will have a chance to meet and get to know each other more closely. NACA Executive Council counts on your continuous support for these and many other initiatives to foster knowledge production and I would like to welcome you to share your ideas, suggestions, and inputs. 

Sincerely yours, 

Udaya Wagle 

NACA Founding President

Nepali Academics in America (NACA)

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