Meet our team

Ashish Dhawan


Ashish is the Founder and Chairman of Central Square Foundation (CSF) and a Founding Member of Ashoka University. Prior to this, he worked for twenty years in the investment management business and ran one of India's leading private equity funds, ChrysCapital.


In June 2012, he left his full-time role at Chrys Capital to start CSF to pursue evidence-driven and innovation-led system reform in school education. He has co-founded and funded CEGIS because he believes that improving state capacity is the most leveraged way to help India improve development outcomes at scale.

Karthik Muralidharan

Co-founder and Scientific Director

Vijay Pingale

Matangi Jayaram
Head - People and Partnerships

Matangi has over 25 years of experience in corporate HR and the development sector. Before transitioning to the non-profit sector, she worked as an HR generalist, mostly in technology and IT enabled services organizations. Having served as a Senior Program Officer with Avahan, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s flagship HIV prevention program in India for 9 years, she has worked with multiple stakeholders such as the government, non-governmental organizations, community groups, community-based organizations, and other donor partners. She holds a Masters in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Vijay comes to CEGIS with 20 years of experience of working with government as well as the private sector. After serving as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer at Central, State, Local Body as well as PSU levels for over 14 years, Vijay Moved to EY India LLP as a Partner leading various projects in urban infrastructure and health sectors.  He also has experience of working with various media organisations of Government of India for 3 years as an Indian Information Service (IIS) officer before joining IAS. Vijay is a medical doctor by training and moved into government and public-sector work to have a positive impact at a larger scale.

Born and raised in India, Karthik earned an A.B. in economics (summa cum laude) from Harvard, an M.Phil. in economics from Cambridge (UK), and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.  He is currently the Tata Chancellor's Professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego. He is also a Board Member and co-chair of the Education programme at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

For the last twenty years, he has led several large-scale field research projects in India spanning education, health, and social welfare programmes, and has focused on improving the quality of public service delivery and the effectiveness of public spending. He has co-founded CEGIS to help state governments improve the quality of governance and public expenditure based on high-quality research evidence and a deep understanding of ground realities of public service delivery in India.

Abhinav Verma

Abhinav is a senior programme associate, working in CEGIS’ Jobs, Investment and Productivity team. He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance from Ashoka University.

Ankit Chatri

Ankit anchors our engagement with the Government of Tamil Nadu and works closely with the Finance Department. Prior to joining CEGIS, Ankit worked as an Associate Director at Athena Infonomics where he led its urban portfolio focusing on urban governance and municipal service delivery in South Asia and Africa. He also led several assignments on water and sanitation, affordable housing at the intersection of  governance, data and policy commissioned by government, multilateral / bi-lateral agencies and large foundations. Ankit has a Master’s degree in Economics from University of Hyderabad and M.Phil. in Development and Planning from IIT Bombay. 

Devashish Deshpande

Devashish leads CEGIS's engagement with the Delhi government, and supports them in augmenting tax efficiency. Devashish also leads sectoral work on agriculture within CEGIS. He has worked in outcomes measurement, public finance and governance, with Kantar Public Affairs, Accountability Initiative (CPR) and the Foundation for Economic Development. He holds post-graduate qualifications in Economics and Public Policy.

Ganesh Rao

Ganesh works with the Outcome Measurement team, which supports state governments improve evidence-based decision making. Prior to CEGIS, he developed and led the Embedded Research Advisory and ME&L Diagnostic services for NGOs and governments in East Africa with Laterite. Before that, he worked at J-PAL in India. He holds an M.Sc. (Hons) in Economics and B.E. (Hons) in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from BITS, Pilani – Goa Campus.

Javed Afroze

Javed works with the Bodoland Government to improve their state capacity through data evidence backed implementation. Prior to CEGIS, Javed was a Senior Fellow with the International Innovation Corps where he extensively worked at grass root level governance and systemic performance. Javed also has previously worked in areas of policy research and electronic media. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Osmania University, He also holds a postgraduate qualification in Political Science and International affairs and a no qualifications learning experience as a UPSC aspirant

Naresh Babu Kunche

Naresh leads the CEGIS team of Bodoland, Assam, that is working with Bodoland Secretariat on strategic budgeting and outcome measurement. Prior to CEGIS, he worked with the PwC, AP Pollution Control Board and I DO ngo. He was also a Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF) for Sukma District of Chhattisgarh where he worked extensively on public health and nutrition. With over 10+ years professional experience, his expertise also lies in e-governance and environmental management. He is a software engineer turned development professional with post-graduation in Development Studies and B.Tech (IT) from Indian Institute of Information Technology - Allahabad.

Parul Agarwal

Parul leads the Outcome Measurement function at CEGIS, that aims to institutionalise an outcome oriented approach to decision making in governance. She is a development professional with over a decade of experience in measurement and evaluation. Prior to CEGIS, she has worked with LEAD at Krea University (IFMR) and has been a consultant with Women’s World Banking. She is a graduate in economics from University of Delhi and holds a Masters in Rural Management from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar.

Praveen Ravi

Praveen leads the Performance Management team, which attempts to work with governments to change personnel management practices to reflect greater autonomy on processes and enhanced accountability on outcomes. Prior to CEGIS, he has worked with Athena Infonomics and KPMG in their Governance/ Service delivery advisory practices.

Priyamvada Grover

Priyamvada works with the Policy and Analytical Communication team at CEGIS. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Delhi University and was a former Young India Fellow at Ashoka University. Prior to joining CEGIS she was working at Foundation for Economic Development (FED) around agriculture markets and policies. She has also served as a reporter at ThePrint where she covered economy, human rights issues and the power sector.

Santosh Gulla

Santosh manages CEGIS' engagements with multiple departments of the Government of Telangana. Prior to CEGIS, he worked with Central Square Foundation (CSF) and led EdTech interventions like DIKSHA and Digital Classrooms for the School Education department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Before CSF, he worked for four years in the education sector and three years in the engineering space. He was a Teach for India Fellow and holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering.

Sravan Pallapothu

Sravan is a senior programme associate working with the Outcome Measurement team. He worked as a research assistant with the Centre for Sustainable Employment at the Azim Premji University, where he assisted in launching labour market surveys in Karnataka and Rajasthan as well as a phone survey to capture the impact of COVID-19 across multiple states in India. He graduated with an M.Sc in Economics from the Symbiosis School of Economics in 2019.

Vardan Srivastava

Vardan is a programme associate with the Delhi Revenue team, which helps the Government of Delhi augment its tax efficiency. Prior to CEGIS, he has worked in the EdTech and Venture Capital space. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Purdue University and is a Young India Fellow from Ashoka University.

Priyanka Parle

Priyanka is a programme associate with the Delhi Revenue team, that supports Government of Delhi in augmenting tax efficiency. Prior to joining CEGIS, she has worked with the Government of Maharashtra as a Chief Minister's Fellow alongside the district and the state administration. She has also worked as a Technology Analyst within the global markets vertical at Credit Suisse. She is trained as a Computer Science engineer from VJTI, Mumbai. 

Suramya Srivastava

Suramya is a program associate working on the Early Childhood Development mission at CEGIS. She has a Masters in International Development from the University of Warwick and studied B.A. Economics at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She worked as a Research Assistant in the Politics and International Studies department during her Masters and interned in the Women and Child Development at NITI Aayog. 

Swathi Pottabathini

Swathi Pottabathini is a policy enthusiast who currently works as a Senior Project Associate with the Telangana government. She is extremely passionate about creating impact at the grassroots through evidence-based policy interventions and Gandhi’s talisman has been her constant source of inspiration. She worked at a grassroots NGO with tribals, before taking up the role of a Chief Program Officer at GramHeet to work with smallholder farmers. She is a Caux Scholar-Asia Plateau and Lead Like a Girl Fellow. She loves to create sustainable art, practice yoga, read voraciously, write wholeheartedly and travel extensively.