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Photo of Urmi  Ashar

Urmi Ashar

Adjunct Faculty

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Urmi Ashar, MBBS, MD, MBA, led the initiative for NACD to establish the NACD Three Rivers Chapter, serving the needs of the boards and providing cutting edge education programs for directors, and was elected as its founding President and CEO. She attained a Certificate of Director Education from NACD and is involved with its education initiative, which researches and revamps the curriculum needs for director education to keep up with the current rapidly changing environment in Corporate Governance.

Within the larger community, Dr. Ashar participates and engages in all programs associated with NACD, The Governance Institute and Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She served on the Advisory Council of Strong Women and Strong Girls’ citywide initiative and as a Marketing Director for the Women’s Small Business Association in Pittsburgh. She has developed the syllabus and curriculum for Corporate Governance at Carnegie Mellon’s H. John Heinz lll School of Public Policy and Management Institute & Institute for Social Innovation and has led an award-winning project at the Heinz School’s Institute for Social Innovation while managing research projects in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University. Rand Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance invited Dr. Ashar to participate in the think tank session “Directors as Guardians of Compliance and Ethics Within the Corporate Citadel.”

Dr. Ashar serves as a trustee of Excela Health System – a complex health care system with multiple for-profit sub-entities – and served as Chair of the CEO Search Committee and the Compensation Committee. She currently serves as the Vice Chair for Nominating and Governance Committee sits on the Strategic Planning Committee for the health care System. She has participated in Institute for Healthcare Improvement ‘s forum, “From the Top” and Governance Institute’s Leadership Conference on behalf of Excela Health.

Dr. Ashar had a large, clinical anesthesiology practice in Mumbai (Bombay), India. As a successful entrepreneur, she founded BirthMatters, an organization with a mission of helping families deal with every aspect of pregnancy and childbirth as well as introducing early child rearing practices. Beyond raising capital for this venture, she provided visionary leadership.

The experience and challenges of raising a profoundly gifted son and dealing with his educational needs led Dr. Ashar to become a passionate advocate for the gifted and talented. She has been extremely active with the Davidson Institute for the Talented and Gifted and believes that the development of talent and management of strategic human capital is key to success in the global economy.

In her organizational work, Dr. Ashar uses insights derived from the study of medicine, science, education and business as well as from the experience of bridging two cultures - American and Indian - to build complex, non-conventional solutions to organizational challenges. She is energetic, imaginative and confident in the face of an unpredictable, emergent world along with a natural inclination to connect with people. She has unusual comfort with ambiguity and has a predisposition towards cognitive playfulness and intellectual curiosity.

Dr. Ashar earned her MBA from the University of Colorado and has attained a diploma in Entrepreneurship for Life Sciences Technology from UPMC. She earned her MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) and MD from KEM Hospital and University of Mumbai’s Seth G.S. Medical College. She is a Diplomate of the National Board in Anesthesiology (India).


MBA, University of Colorado
MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), KEM Hospital and University of Mumbai’s Seth G.S. Medical College
MD, KEM Hospital and University of Mumbai’s Seth G.S. Medical College