Rohini Nilekani is theFounder-Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up with a private endowment, to work on water and sanitation issues in India. She is also Founder-Chairperson of Pratham Books, a charitable trust which seeks to put "A book in every child's hand." An ex-journalist, author and philanthropist, Rohini has been deeply involved with development issues and is currently a member of the Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. She sits on the Boards of many non-profits, notably ATREE (the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment) and Sanghamithra Rural Financial Services. Rohini has authored a novel – “Stillborn” - and also a non–fiction account of dialogues she moderated between social and corporate leaders called "Uncommon Ground".
Narayan Ramachandran is an investor and entrepreneur with a focus on social businesses. Till recently, he was the Country Head of Morgan Stanley in India leading all of the group's businesses. Prior to these roles, Narayan was the Head and lead portfolio manager of Morgan Stanley’s Global Emerging Markets and Global Asset Allocation teams, managing over $25 billion in assets. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1996 and has 20 years of investment experience. Before joining the firm, he was a managing director at Rogers Casey (now CRA Rogers Casey). In addition, Narayan was director of research at Rogers Casey and president of its investment advisory subsidiary. He began his career at Goldman Sachs. He received a B.Tech. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. Narayan holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Narayan has a keen interest in using market-based solutions for poverty alleviation in areas such as micro-finance, social venture capital, micro-insurance and affordable housing.
Janhavi is a Ph.D. Student in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is interested in sustainable development and energy policies in developing countries, particularly India. She graduated from Yale University in 2010 with a B.A. in Economics and in International Studies.
Sonalde is a demographer whose work deals primarily with social inequalities in developing countries with a particular focus on gender and class inequalities. She studies inequalities in education, employment and maternal and child health outcomes by locating them within the political economy of the region. While much of her research focuses on South Asia, she has also engaged in comparative studies across Asia, Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa. She has published articles in a wide range of sociological and demographic journals including American Sociological Review, Demography, Population and Development Review and Feminist Studies.
Dr. Shiv Someshwar is a research faculty at Columbia University, New York. At the Earth Institute, he is also the Director for Climate Policy at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, and the Senior Advisor for Regional Programmes at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. An expert in climate and development policy, Shiv has led numerous multidisciplinary projects that build resilience to climate risks in developing countries. He advises governments on identifying and implementing climate action priorities, and served as an advisor to UNDP’s Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery to integrate climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts. He has helped develop Columbia University’s graduate program in Climate and Society. Previously, he was at the Rockefeller Foundation and at the World Bank. Shiv received his Ph.D. in environment and public policy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and was a MacArthur Bell fellow at Harvard University.
Sunita Nadhamuni is Director at the Center for Transformational Innovations at EMC, India. CeTI is working with partners to develop technology-enabled solutions for addressing healthcare challenges in emerging economies. Prior to that, she was founder-CEO of Arghyam. She was also with the Asia Pacific Water Forum in several capacities networking with regional players from APJ countries. She has more than a decade of IT experience from the Silicon Valley at companies like Sun Microsystems, SGI and Healtheon/WebMD and a decade of development sector experience in India leading initiatives with significant public impact.
Sunita has an MS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in NY and a BE degree from Andhra University in India. She was a TED India Fellow, was a member of several national and international committees in water, founder of two voluntary initiatives in education and rural development, and has authored two books based on her work.
Mr. Keshav Desiraju recently retired from the Indian Administrative Service after an illustrious career spanning more than three decades. He held positions of Secretary to the Government of India in Ministries of Health and Consumer affairs after serving as the Chief Secretary to the Government of Uttarakhand. It was during his tenure as Health Secretary, India's first ever mental health policy took shape. He is known in policy circles for being a visionary with impeccable honesty and integrity. Mr Desiraju was educated at the Universities of Harvard, Cambridge and Bombay.
Ravi Narayanan has experience in the corporate sector as well as in the not for profit sector working for international development organizations. He worked in various capacities as India Director, Director of International Operations and Asia Director for ActionAid and then as Chief Executive of WaterAid. Currently a Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Water Forum and a member of the Technical Expert Group on water and sanitation set up by the Government of India, he has been a member of the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure (the Camdessus Panel) and the UN Millennium Task Force on Water and Sanitation.
Vishwanath is a Civil Engineer and Urban and Regional Planner by qualification. By occupation, he is a Writer and Practitioner of sustainable water management systems. He also runs a blog/youtube/website (www.rainwaterclub.org) that is dedicated to rainwater harvesting practices. His contribution to Arghyam is enormous in shaping its strategies and principles.