Nishant Pandey is the CEO of the American India Foundation. In this capacity, Nishant provides strategic leadership to AIF’s operations spanning the US and India.
Nishant began his career as a banker but soon realised that development sector was his calling. He joined a global charity called Oxfam as the Programme Officer for South India where he designed and developed value-chain programmes on the theme of ‘power in markets’. Subsequently, he was offered a role based in Oxfam’s global HQ in Oxford to lead on programme development and management in 12 countries including Russia, Tajikistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Albania, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Jordon. In his work on Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area and its impact on small farmers in European neighbourhood, he demonstrated a rare ability to link high-level policy with projects on the ground and was soon given the opportunity to lead the entire policy and campaigns portfolio for Oxfam in the region. Before moving back to India with AIF, Nishant was based in Jerusalem where he led Oxfam’s one of the most complex and challenging country programmes in Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel as the Country Director.
Nishant firmly believes in the power of win-win partnerships. In his career spanning 20 years, he has forged several multi-stakeholder initiatives involving civil society, governments and corporate partners, big and small, global and local. He believes that in the history of humanity, we have never had so much resources, connectivity and promise to make a positive difference to the underprivileged and marginalised women, men and children. If channelled properly through credible and collective philanthropic platforms like AIF, these attributes can make a sustainable and long-term impact in the lives of ordinary people, nations and the global community at large.
As a British Chevening scholar, Nishant acquired his Master’s in International Development & Finance from the University of Leicester, UK. He also holds M.A. in Economics, B.A. in Anthropology and Economics as well as Advanced Management Programme from the Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK. Prior to taking over as CEO, Nishant served three years as AIF’s Country Director in India, gaining deep insight into AIF’s programs on the ground.