Board Members - Digital Green Foundation
Kentaro is W. K. Kellogg Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology.
Until 2009, Kentaro was assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, which he co-founded in 2005. At MSR India, he started the Technology for Emerging Markets research group, which conducts interdisciplinary research to understand how the world's poorest communities interact with electronic technology and to invent new ways for technology to support their socio-economic development. It was there that Digital Green started as a research project.
Prior to his time in India, Kentaro did computer vision and multimedia research and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana. He graduated from Yale with a PhD in Computer Science and from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in Physics.
Having over 20 years of experience in agricultural development, policy, and research in the United States, sub-Saharan Africa, South and South East Asia, and Latin America, Melissa currently serves as Technical Division Director & Senior Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Food Security of USAID. Prior to this she has served as a Program Officer in the Agricultural Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as with U.S. Congress in varying roles, including as a Specialist in Agricultural Policy for the Congressional Research Service and as the Agriculture Policy Advisor to then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Melissa currently leads a team of technical experts in the Bureau for Food Security at the USAID, who cover cross-cutting issues related to global food security. Melissa has a B.Sc in Environmental Systems from Cornell University, an M.Sc. in Soil Science from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the Pennsylvania State University. She received a Rotary Fellowship, allowing her to work at an international agricultural research center in East Africa. Melissa has received grant funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, USAID, and the U.S. Department of Defense. She has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses and authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles, reports and technical papers.
Srikant is the founder and CEO of SkillStore, which builds people skills for professional success with a quick, easy-to-use and effective mobile platform. Earlier, he was the founder and President of Portmont College at Mount St. Mary’s, a non-profit college that helps low income Americans gain quality college degrees more affordably. Srikant was the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to Gates, Srikant was the co-founder & CEO of StorePerform Technologies (the leading provider of retail performance management software), co-founder and CEO of KBkids (a leading e-commerce company), a founding team member and director of business development of MediaOne (which was sold to AT&T for $62 billion), and a consultant at McKinsey & Co.
Srikant is an advisor to Grameen Technology Center and a member of the Strategic Planning Task Force of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BS (Electrical Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
Rajesh is currently a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and also a Research Fellow at the Transparency and Accountability Initiative at the Open Society Foundation.
Having previously worked with Microsoft Research India to design and deploy technology to complement efforts that help amplify intent of the groups that are working to alleviate poverty, Rajesh has also worked as a software developer at Microsoft for several years and been an active volunteer with the Association for India's Development. Rajesh has a Masters degree in Computer Science from Clemson University and Economics from Cleveland State University; and Bachelor's degrees in Economics and Management from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India.
Soumen is currently a consultant with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. He is a former Executive Director of Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) and has nearly 28 years of experience in the development sector.
While in PRADAN, Soumen worked in various capacities to promote livelihoods for indigenous communities and also involved in its institution building processes. He has advised various state governments and Government of India on issues related to civil society organizations, poverty alleviation and rural development.