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Madhu Viswanathan

Professor of Business Administration and
Diane & Steven N. Miller Centennial Chair

Biographical Sketch

Madhu Viswanathan is the Diane and Steven N. Miller Professor in Business at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he has been on the faculty since 1990.  He earned a B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering (Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, 1985), and a PhD in Marketing (University of Minnesota, 1990).  His research programs are in two areas; measurement and research methodology, and literacy, poverty, and subsistence marketplace behaviors.  He has authored books in both areas: Measurement Error and Research Design (Sage, 2005), and Enabling Consumer and Entrepreneurial Literacy in Subsistence Marketplaces (Springer, 2008, in alliance with UNESCO).  He directs the Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative ( and has created unique synergies between research, teaching, and social initiatives.  He teaches courses on research methods and on subsistence and sustainability.  He founded and directs the Marketplace Literacy Project (, a non-profit organization, pioneering the design and delivery of marketplace literacy education to low-income consumers and subsistence marketplaces.  He has received research, teaching, curriculum development, social entrepreneurship, humanitarian, leadership, public engagement, international achievement, and career achievement awards and his course on subsistence marketplaces was ranked one of the top entrepreneurship courses by Inc. magazine.  He serves on the Advisory Board of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).