With fall in the air here in Cambridge, the Mittal Institute is excited to be back on campus as we launch a new academic year. The change in season also brings changes to our office, and we are excited to welcome a new staff member, Carlin Carr, to the role of our Communications Manager. Carlin, who has many years of experience in South Asia, will be responsible for creating and managing the communications strategy and outreach efforts of MI’s Cambridge office. We sat down with Carlin to learn more about her background and what she envisions for the future of communications at MI.
Mittal Institute: Carlin, welcome! Tell us a bit about your professional background and how you found your way to MI?
Carlin Carr: Thank you! I am so thrilled to be here at MI, working with this great team and reconnecting to South Asia and the Institute. I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of work related to South Asia, especially India, and have even crossed paths with some MI faculty along the way. I worked for several years for WIEGO, which was founded by MI Steering Committee Member, Marty Chen. At WIEGO, I edited the blog and worked with researchers from across the globe to elevate the visibility of their research on the informal economy.
Before WIEGO, a lot of my work focused on cities in South Asia. I wrote for many publications, including Guardian Cities, Citiscope, and Next City on issues from informal housing to water and sanitation to livelihoods. I worked for the Mumbai-based consulting firm Intellecap and was also the editor of two urban-focused publications: Searchlight South Asia and URB.im, another cities-focused publication that focused on urban centers across the Global South.
I’ve been away from working on South Asia for a few years, but I’m very happy to be back!
Mittal Institute: What motivated your personal and professional interest in South Asia? Can you talk a bit about your experience in country?
Carlin Carr: I first went to India in 2008 on a fellowship, where I studied in the philosophy department at the University of Mumbai. While I was there, I started volunteering at a shelter for street children, and still go back to see the kids whenever I can—even though most of them are now all grown up.
Another big part of my life in India was volunteering as part of the programming committee for the TATA Mumbai International Literature Festival. The festival covered such a wide range of books and topics and was a really great way to get to know the country and was just an all-around great event.
Mittal Institute: What are some of your goals for MI as you begin your new role? What are you most looking forward to, and how do you hope to shape the communications efforts both at Harvard and beyond?
Carlin Carr: This is such an exciting time to be joining the Mittal Institute. The team here has built such a strong foundation, and I’m looking forward to continuing to build on that. And since we’re on-campus and in-person, I’m really interested in connecting with the Harvard community and all those interested in South Asia to talk about new ways to collaborate. My mask is on and my door is open!