India, Sept. 22 -- Sociologist Manali Desai has been appointed head of the department of sociology at the University of Cambridge, making her not only the first Indian-origin woman to head a department in the 811-year-old university but also the first woman of colour to hold such a role.

Desai, who calls herself a "hybrid child of three different cultures", said she was born in the US but moved early to India and studied in Modern School, Delhi. She later moved to London and completed her last two years of school there.

She then moved to the US and studied Economics at the University of Michigan and completed a PhD in Sociology at the University of California Los Angeles. She previously taught in the US and at the London School of Econo...