World Development Forum : People

The Advisory Group of Members guiding the World Development Forum

Aftab Seth

The Chairman of the Japan India Partnership Forum, Aftab has served as India's Ambassador to Greece, Japan, and Vietnam. After joining the Ministry of External Affairs of India, he served in the embassies in Beirut, Cairo, and Jakarta and, the consulates in Karachi and Hamburg. He writes extensively and has authored three books, including How Much Weight Can an Elephant Lose?, which won the Mahatma Gandhi-Martin Luther King Daisaku Ikeda Award in 2002. Ambassador Seth received was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and has a Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece.

Amir Ullah Khan

A noted Indian economist, Amir is an Advisor at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in India. He has worked with the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and on various projects with multilateral organizations like the UNDP, EU, USAID and the World Bank. He teaches at various management schools including ISB, Hyderabad and IIFT, Delhi.

Arun Maira

Arun Maira is a Member of the Planning Commission chaired by the Prime Minister of India. In this ministerial-level position, he is responsible for facilitating the shaping of policies and programs relating to industrialization and urbanization in India. He has a combination of hands-on leadership experience, consulting experience to leadership teams internationally, and thought-leadership as an author and speaker on the subjects of leadership and organization transformation. Prior to his appointment on the Planning Commission, Arun Maira has served on the boards of several large Indian companies, including companies in the Tata, Birla, Godrej, Hero, and Mahindra Groups. Arun Maira was Chairman of Save the Children, India, and Chairman of the Axis Bank Foundation. He has served on the boards of several Indian and international management education institutions. He was also on the boards of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, the India Brand Equity Foundation, and the Public Interest Foundation, as well as a trustee of WWF India, the World Food Program India Trust, and Aspen India.

Bobby John

A physician, Bobby left a career with the Indian Army to work among the rural poor in a village in Maharashtra. He is currently Executive Director of Global Health Advocates, India, where he works with national governments and international agencies on issues related to governance and health, development and foreign policy formulation. He has been a member on the developing country NGO board delegation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria; and most recently, was the Public Affairs lead for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in India.

Harsh Shrivastava

Chief Executive Officer of the World Development Forum, Harsh was previously in India's Planning Commission, where he was its Consultant (Planning). He helped managed the process of making India's 12thPlan. He is also a Director of the Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship. He has served in the Prime Minister's Office on the personal staff of Prime Minister Vajpayee as his deputy speechwriter. He has held senior posts in Reliance Capital, Feedback Infrastructure, and the Confederation of Indian Industry. Harsh has also been a journalist and co-written India's first book on Corporate Social Responsibility. He has an MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad.

Michael Menezes

Michael is an advertising, communications, and marketing professional who has in the course of his long business career, founded an advertising agency (Maadhyam, now a part of Publicis Groupe) and Showtime, one of India's leading creative and event management organization. Michael has long-standing experience of conceptualizing and presenting events, including India's strong presence at World Economic Forum, Davos.

Nisha Agrawal

CEO of Oxfam India, Nisha is an economist by training. She worked with the World Bank from 1989 till 2008 before taking up her current position. She has extensive experience working in countries of the East Asia Region (Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia) and Eastern Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda). Before that, she worked as a Research Associate at the Impact Research Center at Melbourne University, from 1985 to 1989. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.

Rajiv Kumar

A well-known economist and author, Rajiv was the Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI); previously, he has been the Director General and CEO of ICRIER; Chief Economist CII; and Principal Economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila. He is presently a member of the Board of the State Bank of India, and of the International Board of the King Abdullah Petroleum Research Centre (KAPSARC). He was also a Professor at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi. Rajiv Kumar has a DPhil in Economics from Oxford University and a PhD from Lucknow University.

Shubhashis Gangopadhyay

Managing Trustee and Research Director of India Development Foundation after being its Founder-Director, Shubhashis is also the Director of Humanities and Social Sciences of Shiv Nadar University and Visiting Professor at Gothenburg University, Sweden. In Sweden, he has held the prestigious Malmsten Guest Professorship as well as the Bertil Danielsson Professorship and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Gothenburg. Professor Gangopadhyay has a PhD in Economics from Cornell University. He has been a member of the South Asia Chief Economist's Advisory Council of the World Bank and the Advisor to the Indian Finance Minister during the 2008 crisis year. He is also the founder-President of the Society for Game theory and its Applications.

Vineeta Shanker

Vineeta is the Executive Director of Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation (SILF). The Foundation works exclusively for the social and economic upliftment of leprosy affected people and their families in India. Vineeta Shanker is an economist by training. After her PhD in Agricultural Economics from the Sorbonne, Paris, she taught at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and at Delhi School of Economics before taking up economic journalism. She was also engaged in organizing and participating in a series of civilizational dialogues in India, which sought to bring people from different cultures and different religions to understand and develop a deeper understanding of different perspective on growth and development.