With a Masters in aeronautical and astronautical space engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, Rikin began his career at Oracle, where he received patents for linguistic search algorithms that he helped develop. Later he joined Microsoft Research India’s Technology for Emerging Markets team, where he researched ways to amplify the effectiveness of agricultural development globally. The time Rikin spent in India’s rural communities changed his life. He developed a passion for helping the country’s rural farmers, whom he saw as heroes. More than a decade later, that passion has become Rikin’s career; in 2006, he co-founded what has become Digital Green.
Alex was Digital Green’s first U.S.-based team member, having joined as Director of Business Development in 2015. He currently serves as the Deputy Director of the USAID-funded Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity program which Digital Green leads. Alex has nearly 20 years of development experience in the agriculture, economic growth, and education sectors. Prior to joining Digital Green, he helped launch the nonprofit SNV USA, the U.S. affiliate of SNV Netherlands Development Organization. He led SNV’s business development efforts and designed projects in market-driven agriculture, renewable energy and water, sanitation and hygiene. Alex holds two master’s degrees in Public Policy and East European Languages and Politics from Indiana University. Alex was born in Vietnam and is now based in Washington, D.C., where he loves to get messy in his backyard garden, and lives for family camping trips in the mountains.
Lakshmi serves as Digital Green’s Country Director for Ethiopia where she oversees the strategy and program operations. Lakshmi has over 13 years of program management experience within the realm of international development. She has spent a significant amount of time during her career learning from and working with smallholder farmers in Kenya, India, Georgia, Kosovo and Ethiopia. While working internationally to operationalize program portfolios, Lakshmi supported and provided leadership to various country teams. She received her Bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and her Master’s degree from Cornell University, and currently resides in the UK. Lakshmi loves running, reading non-fiction, and going on hikes with her family.
As one of the founding members of Digital Green, Vinay provides leadership in program strategy and operations. He has over 35 years’ experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, having implemented on-the-ground projects in more than 20 countries. Prior to Digital Green, Vinay was India Operations Director at Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), a Seattle-based global health nonprofit. He led operations at IntraHealth International Inc. for its Asia and Near East office, overseeing implementation of a global reproductive health program. He was Vice President at JPS Associates, a management consulting firm, and an officer at the Reserve Bank of India. Vinay also served as an Advisor to the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology, and laid the foundation for the Clinical Development Services Agency, a national body that conducts clinical trials in India. He earned a Master’s of Business Administration from Delhi University, as well as a Master’s in Political Science and Master of Philosophy in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Vinay loves to travel to new locations and meet interesting people; spend time with his son and read social and political history.
Karin joined Digital Green as Director of Global Agriculture Strategy. In this role, Karin supports the development and implementation of our global agriculture programs. Previously, she acted as a Program Officer on the Agricultural Development team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, specializing in seed sector development and input delivery, with a special interest in women’s empowerment. Prior to that role, Karin worked for the Gates Foundation’s Urban Development team, focusing on women’s livelihood development and community mobilization within urban slums. Her interest in and passion for global development stems from her experience as the daughter of two USAID Foreign Service officers, growing up in Guyana, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand. Prior to the Gates Foundation, she worked for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, providing affordable housing to low-income families devastated by Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with Bachelor’s degrees in history and political science, from George Washington University with a Master’s degree in international security policy, and from the University of California, Berkeley, with a Master’s in Business Administration.
Giovanna serves as Digital Green’s Director of Growth. As we enter our next phase of growth, Giovanna supports in growing and developing our human resources and internal operations. Giovanna comes to Digital Green with over 10 years experience in international development and social enterprise. She was an early employee at Kiva.org; while there, she developed and grew Kiva's presence around the world, managing their work in over 80 countries and with more than 300 partners. She served on Kiva's management team, helping guide Kiva's mission and strategy throughout periods of rapid growth. Giovanna’s passion for international issues and economic development stem from an amazing high school teacher, growing up across two different continents, and early experiences in rural Latin America. Giovanna holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and an MBA from Yale University. Giovanna loves to travel, is an avid swimmer, and most of all enjoys watching her son learn and grow.
Aditya oversees Digital Green’s technology and product innovation function globally that designs and builds mobile and web solutions to amplify our impact. Prior to Digital Green, Aditya worked in investment banking building portfolio analytics tools and modelling market trends to drive investment strategies at TD Asset Management in Canada; and developing trading and pricing platforms at Barclays Capital in Japan. He has developed graphic card drivers at Advanced Micro Devices and network solutions at Scotiabank. His passion to realize the potential of technology for social development brought him back to India. Aditya holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering with Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo. In his spare time, Aditya loves to travel, play tennis and catch up on the latest in technology and politics.
Neeta leads Digital Green's administrative, financial and business planning functions and has been instrumental in developing robust financial and administrative systems. Prior to Digital Green, Neeta was Director Program Operations at International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a New York based non-profit; Donor Coordinator at National AIDS Control Organization, the apex organization of the Government of India to control spread of AIDS; Regional Operations Manager for Asia at IntraHealth International Inc. She was also the Chief Executive of Kesha Processors, a unit of the Modi Group in India. Neeta began her career at The Oberoi Hotel, Bombay. Neeta completed her management education at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and holds bachelor degrees in Nutrition and Education from Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi. She also completed Hotel Management from Oberoi School of Hotel Management.
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.
Melissa D. Ho is Managing Director, Africa, in the Millennium Challenge Corporation's Department of Compact Operations. She oversees countries in West Africa. Before joining MCC, Dr. Ho served as Senior Advisor and Technical Division Director in the Bureau for Food Security at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which was responsible for supporting the strategy and implementation of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global food security and nutrition initiative, in 19 countries. Dr. Ho was one of the first members of the Agriculture Development team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led the agricultural water management portfolio, and she also worked with the U.S. Congress as a Specialist in agricultural policy for the Congressional Research Service and as Agriculture Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Dr. Ho 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 Pennsylvania State University.
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.
Dr. Reddy is Managing Director for Akshayakalpa Farms and Foods Pvt Ltd, an automated dairy farm specializing in organic milk production. Dr. Reddy is also currently in-charge of BAIF Programmes in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka where he holds additional responsibility of an Executive Vice Chairman. He has completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Science from Bangalore Veterinary College with Advanced Training in Large Herd Management and Oestrous Synchronization from Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), France. Dr. Reddy was honoured with best Veterinarian award instituted by the Karnataka Veterinary Association in 1998, DesaSnehi Award from India Development Foundation in 2008 and has also received Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar from the Government of India on behalf of BAIF Institute for Rural Development-Karnataka.
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 Veeraraghavan is an Assistant Professor of Science Technology and International Affairs (STIA) Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University and was previously a Fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard University. He works in the intersection of information technology, development, and governance, with a focus on India. His research combines both the design and study of technological solutions to development and governance problems. He is currently interested in understanding the role of information and communication technology in making systems of governance more participatory. Previously, he was an associate researcher at the Technology for Emerging Markets group at Microsoft Research, India. Before that, he worked as a software developer at Microsoft for several years in the US. He has a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information.
Tejesh Shah has diverse interests that range from real estate to organic farming. In 2005, Tejesh started a biodiesel venture in India which led him to discover the potential for sustainable agricultural development. Tejesh is one of Digital Green's earliest champions. He has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.
An Architect, Researcher and Innovator, Indrani is currently researching the area of User Experience Design, in the Technology for Emerging Markets Group at Microsoft Research India in Bangalore. Indrani’s work focuses on designing text-free interfaces that could help non-literate and semi-literate people and new technology users find jobs, get medical information and use cell-phone-based banking services. Indrani studied Architecture from VNIT Nagpur, and acquired a Master’s degree in Design from Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT-ID), Chicago, USA. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT Bombay), India. In 2010, Indrani was listed in the MIT Technology Review’s ‘World’s Top 35 innovators under the age 35′ and also featured in the list of 50 Smartest People in Technology by Fortune magazine and received the ‘Young Indian Leader’ award from CNN-IBN, the same year.
Vijay K. Sardana comes to Digital Green with 50 years of experience in the development sector. He is an expert in building teams and partnerships, strategic planning, impact assessment and NGO board governance. He serves as Convener at the Centre for Responsible CSO Boards, and as Honorary Founder President of the Socio Research and Reform Foundation (SRRF) and works as an Independent Consultant. Mr. Sardana has been a Member of the Central Accreditation Committee of Credibility Alliance for the past six years. Mr. Sardana’s current assignments include impact assessment studies of projects funded under Corporate Social Responsibility by Corporate Foundations and Public Sector Undertakings and exploratory studies of CSR of SMEs and Mid Size Companies, Mapping of Networks, Alliances and Coalitions for potential partnership with CFNS (Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security). Mr. Sardana graduated in Agricultural Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur in 1967. He has to his credit additional qualifications in the area of Management, M.B.A. (1974) and M.Phil (1981) Degrees from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University.
New Delhi serves as the hub of all projects in India as well as the new global initiatives.
Bihar has acted as a test bed for most of our innovations including Loop and contributed the largest numbers to our overall reach.
Based in Hyderabad, the shared capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, this team has stood the test of time, forging new partnerships and serving the people of the twin states.
Odisha team’s primary thematic areas are Agriculture, Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture and Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition. The team has a foothold in 600 villages in 7 districts reaching approximately 50,000 households.
Digital Green started operations in Jharkhand in 2014 and our work here has expanded significantly covering livelihood as well as health and nutrition. Our team here focuses on strengthening rural livelihoods and improving health and nutrition behaviors in partnership with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) and Jharkhand State nutrition Mission (JSNM).
In Maharashtra we’re working with the UMED (Maharashtra State Rural Livelihoods Mission) and also with Mann Deshi on a project funded by British Asian Trust where we’re piloting Loop for non-perishable produce.
Digital Green started working in Ethiopia in 2011 and set up its office in 2014. Since then our team in Addis Ababa has been growing and delivering services to the remotest parts of Ethiopia in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR).
It’s here that we started institutionalizing training of extension agents with the Agriculture Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) Center of Excellence.
We’ve worked with the greatest numbers of women farmers in Tigray where there are specific women’s groups as well as female extension agents.
Oromia is our largest region, where we serve the greatest number of villages and farmers.
SNNP was the first region to incorporate our Community Videos solution in the regional government work plan for extension agents.
San Francisco is Digital Green’s newest team and brings experience at a range of global organizations, on a variety of international projects.
Washington DC is Digital Green’s first office in the US, and has been driving forward some key global projects.