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Vijay Vaitheeswaran

Award-Winning Correspondent for the Economist; Author of Need, Speed and Greed and Power to the People

  • Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council
  • Regular speaker and advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative and the WEF’s annual summit of world leaders at Davos
  • Expert speaker on global innovation and energy, as well as business in China

Topics & Types
InnovationChinaEconomic OutlookFinance Policy & RegulationTechnologyGeopolitics

Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran is the US business editor for The Economist. He won the International Association of Energy Economics Award for excellence in written journalism. His editorial responsibilities range from business and finance to science, technology, and innovation. Vaitheeswaran addresses technology, innovation, future trends, energy, and healthcare.

The Economist. Vaitheeswaran started out as an intern at The Economist. He joined the editorial staff in 1992 as its London-based Latin America correspondent, and, after a year, he opened the publication’s first regional Latin American office in Mexico City. He served as the Latin America bureau chief from 1994–1997. From 1998–2006, he was the environment and energy correspondent, covering the politics, economics, business, and technology of those issues. From 2007–2011, he covered innovation and health issues, encompassing innovation, global health, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.

World-Renowned Expertise. Vaitheeswaran is the chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council of experts on sustainability, innovation, and energy, and a life member by the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a regular speaker and advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative and the WEF’s annual summit of world leaders at Davos. He teaches at NYU’s Stern Business School, and his commentaries have appeared on NPR, the BBC, and PBS’s News Hour, and in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and the New York Times.

Vaitheeswaran has had the honor of addressing groups ranging from the US National Governors’ Association and the UN General Assembly to the Technology, Entertainment & Design (TED), Aspen Ideas Festival, Sci Foo, and AAAS conferences. He also serves as chairman of the Economist’s provocative series of conferences on innovation known as the Ideas Economy.

Authorships. Vaitheeswaran’s latest book, Need, Speed, and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World’s Most Wicked Problems, focuses on the future of global innovation. Kirkus Reviews called it “the perfect primer for the postindustrial age.” He also authored ZOOM: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future, which was named a “Book of the Year” by Financial Times, and Power to the People: How the Coming Energy Revolution will Change our Lives, and maybe even Save the Planet. In a Scientific American review of the book, Nobel Laureate John Holdren, President Obama’s chief science advisor, called it “by far the most helpful, entertaining, up-to-date and accessible treatment of the energy-economy-environment problematique available.”

Vijay was born in Madras, India, and grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut. He was named a Truman Scholar by the US Congress while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned his degree in mechanical engineering. He now lives in New York City.

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