Politial economist Sanjeev Khagram has been an Occidental College department of diplomacy and world affairs faculty member since 2012. He leads Occidental’s John Parke Young Initiative on the Global Economy and Water Initiative. He was the senior adviser to the World Commission on Dams and is the author of Dams and Development: Transnational Struggles for Water and Power. Before moderating a panel on clean water, he discussed his love for showers, New York sports teams, and West Side Story in the Zócalo green room.
If you could take only one more journey, where would you go?
Back to Uganda.
When were you in Uganda?
I was born in Uganda.
What’s your favorite dam?
I don’t have a favorite dam.
There’s not one you’re fond of or impressed by or find underrated?
Not really. They’re pretty magnificent, all of them.
Did you have any nicknames as a kid?
Yes I did: Mitu, which means sweetie in Hindi or Gujarati. Gujarati’s my native tongue.
What’s your favorite plant or flower?
Where do you go to be alone?
The shower. Or the beach.
But as a water person, do you keep your showers short?
Yes, which is tough, because I really like showers.
What movie have you seen the most number of times?
West Side Story.
Who or what do you root for?
Pretty much all the New York sports teams. And more generally and philosophically, the underdog.
What’s the ugliest piece of furniture you own?
Wow, I’ve got a lot of ugly furniture. That’s a tough one. I’ve got a nightstand that’s pretty hideous. It’s old and wooden and falling apart. I’m not particularly sure why I keep it, but it’s stayed with me.