Kum-Kum Bhavnani

Kum-Kum Bhavnani

Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement

Distinguished Professor Kum-Kum Bhavnani is Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement at UCSB. Her Social and Political Sciences doctorate is from Kings College, Cambridge following her Honours degree from Bristol (Psychology, with minors in Sociology, Politics and Philosophy), and her Masters from Nottingham (Child and Educational Psychology). She joined the Department of Sociology at UCSB in July 1991.

Kum-Kum is a scholar/film maker (Mirror and Hammer Films) who adopts a multilayered approach to analyzing inequalities and to building a more just, livable planet. Her interdisciplinary research, teaching, and filmmaking draws on a gendered lens to investigate the intersections of cultural and climate studies with critical development studies and social justice.

She was Chair and Vice Chair of the UC Systemwide Senate (2018-2020) and Chair of the Academic Senate at the UCSB (2012-2016). At present, she serves on the Chancellor's Advisory Task Force on Childcare at UCSB, the Systemwide Fossil Free Task Force that is developing plans for electrification of all UC campuses.

Her service also includes collaborating with artists, scholars, community activists and residents, NGOs and policy makers. Her hope is that she inspires people to create the social justice urgently needed for present and future generations.


UCSB welcomes international delegations to visit the University of California Santa Barbara. We are available to answer questions regarding the possibility of a visit and to arrange meetings with faculty and senior administrative staff.

To request a visit, please email Bella Pianalto, Global Engagement Student Assistant, bella@globalengagement.ucsb.edu