Nishant Pandey is the CEO of the American India Foundation (AIF). 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 moved 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 community-focussed 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 as AIF’s Country Director, Nishant was based in Jerusalem where he had one of the most complex and challenging assignments as Oxfam’s Country Director for the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.
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 power to make a positive difference to the lives of underprivileged and marginalised women, men and children. If channelled properly through credible and collective philanthropic platforms like AIF, these attributes can make a lasting impact in the lives of ordinary people, nations and the global community at large.
Nishant speaks routinely on development issues and on corporate social responsibility. He has made several media appearances on prominent India channels like NDTV and CNN News18. Most recently, he authored an op-ed on the success of public- private partnerships in the Economic Times and participated in townhalls organized by CNN TV18 on rural healthcare. Nishant was recently invited by the Confederation of Indian Industry to speak on “Volunteerism as a Key Enabler for Nation Building” at the India@75 Summit. He was also invited to speak on “Systemic Intervention and Scope of Technology in Education” at NASSCOM Foundation’s 2017 CSR Leadership Conference.
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.
Nishant lives with his wife, Nupur, and son, Abeer, in New York City.