Kanwar is considered one of the world’s leading advocates for learning and has been president and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning since 2012. Before joining the COL she was consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO Regional Office for education in Africa (BREDA), in Dakar, Senegal.
She received her undergrad master’s and MPhil from Punjab and was awarded a scholarship for a DPhil at the University of Sussex. She was also a Fulbright Fellow for post-doctoral research at Iowa State University where she was later invited to teach. She was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Leiden, the University of Toronto and the Open University of Hong Kong.