Rakesh Rajani

Director, Democratic Participation and Governance
Ford Foundation


Rakesh Rajani is Director, Democratic Participation and Governance at the Ford Foundation in New York. Until December 2014 he was the Head of Twaweza, an East African organization that promotes citizen agency, open government and basic education. He is also a founding member and past co-chair of the Open Government Partnership, which involves 65 countries covering two billion people. From 2001 to 2007 Rakesh served as the founding Executive Director of HakiElimu, Tanzania’s leading citizen engagement and education advocacy organization. Rakesh serves on several national and international boards, and was a fellow of Harvard University from 1998 to 2013. He has written and edited over 400 papers and popular publications in English and Swahili. Rakesh graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis and Harvard Universities.