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.
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.
Kentaro Toyama 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, Dr. Toyama was assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, which he co-founded in 2005. He launched its 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 socio-economic development. It was there that Digital Green began as a research project. Prior to his time in India, Dr. Toyama 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 Ho is Senior Vice President for Freshwater and Food at World Wildlife Fund. Throughout her 25-year career as a scientist, policy advisor, and development professional, Dr. Ho has focused on the intersection of water and agriculture and its connections to energy and health. In her previous role at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, she oversaw a $1.5 billion portfolio of infrastructure investments in West Africa. She has served at USAID, overseeing the technical team responsible for Feed the Future strategy development and implementation. Previously, Dr. Ho developed and implemented the agricultural water management strategy and grant portfolio at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and served in various capacities in the US Congress. She has a PhD in plant physiology from the Pennsylvania State University, an MSc in soil science from the University of California, Davis, and a BSc in environmental systems from Cornell University.
Edwin Macharia is a Partner and Africa Regional Director for Dalberg Advisors, a global strategy and policy advisory firm focused on creating a more inclusive and sustainable world. He has contributed to Dalberg’s growth in Africa, founding its Nairobi office in 2008, and advises a wide range of clients, including governments, investors, corporations, bilateral and multilateral donors, global foundations, and non-governmental organizations on issues concerning strategy, operational efficiency and program implementation. Before joining Dalberg, he held multiple roles focused on rural communities at the Clinton Foundation and at McKinsey & Company. He holds a BA (cum laude) in biology from Amherst College. Mr. Macharia serves on The Nature Conservancy Africa Council, and the Nabo Capital Board. He is an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Rajesh Veeraraghavan is an Assistant Professor of Science Technology and International Affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He works in the intersection of information technology, development, and governance, with a focus on India. His research combines the design and study of technological solutions to development and governance problems, and the role of information and communication technology in making governance systems more participatory. After working for several years at Microsoft as a software developer, Rajesh helped to co-found Digital Green as an associate researcher at the Technology for Emerging Markets group at Microsoft Research, India. He has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information, master’s degrees in computer science from Clemson University and in economics from Cleveland State University, and bachelor’s degrees in economics and management from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India.
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.
Anirban Ghose co-leads the Transform Rural India Foundation (TRIF), which is focused on bringing equal opportunities to India’s poorest rural areas, and supporting people on their journey to prosperity, dignity and a better life. He is involved in piloting and scaling community-led processes for behavior change and strengthening public systems to improve delivery of services focused on advancing rural health, nutrition, education, and agriculture. He is particularly interested in opportunities for technology to play a catalytic role in transformative changes at the grassroots level. Prior to co-creating TRIF in 2015, he worked for more than 20 years in various capacities focused on rural transformation with the Indian non-profit Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), which was one of Digital Green’s first partners in implementing video-enabled extension for agriculture. He began as a grassroots practitioner, subsequently led field-based teams in tribal dominated districts of Jharkhand, and later joined the leadership team in Delhi as Director of Operations, where he was responsible for organization-wide planning and management. Anirban has a degree in business studies from the University of Delhi.
Neeraj Jain is Country Director for India, for the international health organization PATH, which was one of Digital Green’s first health/nutrition partners for our video approach. Mr. Jain has more than 27 years of experience strengthening organizations across Asia and Europe. His strengths lie in setting up new ventures, organizational development, and strategic leadership for organizational change management. Prior to joining PATH, Mr. Jain led WaterAid India through a dynamic phase of transition as its chief executive. He was instrumental in setting up the India Sanitation Coalition as part of the governing committee, and heads its Engagement with Central and State Governments Task Force. Mr. Jain has worked with Children’s Investment Fund Foundation to promote child development and headed the Asia region for Vestergaard Frandsen, a Swiss company that manufactures water purifiers and insecticidal mosquito nets. Mr. Jain holds a BA in business from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and an MBA from the University of Delhi Faculty of Management Studies.
GNS Reddy is the founder and director of Farm Connect, which is working to reverse urban migration in India, increase economic opportunities for small and medium farmers, and attract young people to farming by providing technical expertise, farm design, and access to finance. It is also creating a system of farms connected to an urban hub to allow urban populations to visit farms, learn about organic farming, and have direct access to produce. He co-founded Akshayakalpa Initiatives in 2009 and served as its Managing Director before founding Farm Connect in 2016. Akshayakalpa is a model for integrated tree plantation and dairy operations designed to supply energy to operate technology and facilitate access to finance. His career at BAIF Development Research Foundation, where he served as vice president and executive vice chairman, spanned 32 years. BAIF is a voluntary organization focused on promoting sustainable livelihoods in rural India, and one of Digital Green’s first partners. Mr. Reddy holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from Bangalore Veterinary College.
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).
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.