Rajesh Chandra is a Fijian academic of Indian descent. In February 2005 he was appointed the first Vice-Chancellor of the newly founded University of Fiji. He is at present the Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of the South Pacific (USP).
Chandra was born in Maro in Nadroga Navosa Province. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of the South Pacific with distinction. and holds a PhD in Industrial/Development Geography, which he completed between 1981 and 1985 at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of more than 45 articles in academic journals and books. He is also the author or editor of five books, including Industrialization and Development in the Third World and An Atlas of Fiji, which is used as a textbook in all Fijian secondary schools.
Chandra served on the staff of The University of the South Pacific (USP), the South Pacific Islands regional university, from 1975 to 2005, before taking up the Vice-Chancellorship of the new University of Fiji. He was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the USP for nine years, and also served for three years as Acting Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), and Director of Planning and Development. From 1987 to 1988, he was Head of the School of Social and Economic Development, and from 1994 to 1996, of the Geography Department. In early June 2013, USP's council cleared Chandra of allegations (based on a petition circulated by a group called USP-devoted IE for Justice) of corruption and abuse of authority,.
Chandra served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Universities Study Abroad Consortium (CUSAC) from 1999 to 2003. He has been a visiting professor or research fellow at numerous institutions, including McGill University, the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at Canterbury University, the National Centre for Development Studies of the Australian National University, and the Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center, in Honolulu.
Chandra is married with a son and a daughter.