Deepak Kumar Behera hails from Sambalpur district in Odisha and is an internationally acclaimed anthropologist. Presently, he is serving as the Vice Chancellor of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Deemed to be University. Prior to joining KISS-DU, he served as the Vice-Chancellor of Sambalpur University, Berhampur University and Rajendra University, Bolangir. Under the leadership of Professor Behera, Berhampur University secured “A” grade by NAAC (the first state-funded university in Odisha to achieve this distinction). Professor Behera has the distinction of being the only academician from Odisha to become the Vice Chancellor of four different universities.
Professor Behera has many national and international distinctions to his credit. He had been a Fulbright Visiting Professor at California State University, Long Beach, where he taught a course titled, “Childhood in a Changing Context (With Special Reference to South Asia)”. As a recipient of DAAD fellowship, he had been a Visiting Guest Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Karl Ebrard University, Germany. The other prestigious fellowships received by him include: the Carlos Chaga Foundation Fellowship, Brazil; National Research Foundation Fellowship, Republic of South Africa; German Research Council Fellowship, Germany; Indo-French Academic Exchange Fellowship, India/France; Indo-Israel Academic and Cultural Exchange Fellowship, India/Israel.
He has also been a visiting professor in Aarhus University, Denmark; University of Free State and University of Durban-Westville, South Africa; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Maison des Sciences de L”Homme, Paris and CNRS-EHESS, France. He has also delivered invited lectures at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Tel Aviv University, Israel; University of Orange Free State, South Africa; University of Durban West-Ville, South Africa; University of California at Santa Cruz; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Utah, Logan (famous Brownbag Lecture); University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. Professor Behera also delivered the prestigious Jubilee lecture (Anthropology Section) in the 100th Science Congress held at Calcutta University in January 2013.
Professor Behera has also been a recipient of the prestigious Sarat Chandra Roy Memorial Gold Medal by the Asiatic Society, Kolkata (the oldest educational institution in Asia) for his outstanding contribution in the field of cultural anthropology in India.
He has to his credit more than 120 research publications in reputed journals and edited volumes. He is the author/editor of 22 volumes. His publications have appeared in reputed publishing companies such as Routledge, Springer, Anthem, Elsevier, Pearson, Orient Longman, Kluwer International, Trans-National, Manges, Greenwood Press, Concept, etc. He was the editor of the Journal of Social Sciences (New Delhi) during 1997-2002 and a member of the Editorial Board of many journals in India and abroad. He has successfully completed a dozen major research projects funded by national funding agencies. Professor Behera has visited more than 30 countries in various academic connections.
Professor Behera has also served as a member of the Executive Board of World Anthropology Association (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, IUAES) for two consecutive terms, i.e. for the period 1998-2009. He is the founding Chairman of the IUAES International Commission on Anthropology of Children, Youth and Childhood. He was also a member of the Governing Council of Association of Indian Universities (AIU) continuously for three consecutive terms (from 2013 to 2016) and is the General President of the newly formed Anthropology Association titled, “United Indian Anthropology Forum” (UIAF), the most vibrant, registered anthropological organisation in India. A total number of 26 candidates have received their doctoral degree working under the supervision of Professor Behera.