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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 over 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.

Aditya Dhabu

Aditya is a program associate working with the Strategic Budgeting arm of the Delhi State team. Before joining CEGIS, he worked as a Data Analyst at Vodafone. He holds a Masters degree in Economics from Symbiosis University and a Bachelor's degree in Accountancy from Amity 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. 

Arjun Dev

Arjun Dev has over 10 years of experience in web development technology. Joined CEGIS as Manager - Technology. He worked with the government and corporate sector both. Before joining CEGIS, he worked with the National Institute of Urban Affairs. Apart web technology, he is having exposure on mobile app development and server management as well. He hold a B.Tech degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

Arshad Azad

Arshad is a Program Associate at the CEGIS Delhi Revenue team. Prior to joining CEGIS, he worked as a Project Associate at Ashoka University on the Project "Determinants of crop residue burning (CRB)", an interdisciplinary research project to investigate the various explanations of CRB and hence the source of air pollution in Delhi. He holds a Master's degree in Economics from the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research and a Bachelor's in Economics from Hindu College, University of Delhi. He describes himself as an "economist in the making”.

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

Lekshmi P T

Lekshmi is a Senior Programme Associate working with the Public finance team, primarily on enhancement of revenue for the state of Tamilnadu. Prior to CEGIS, she has worked with Ramaiah Public Policy Centre (RPPC) and Centre for Budget and Policy studies (CBPS), where she specialised in Budget analysis. She graduated with an M.A in Public Policy and Governance from Azim Premji University.

Madhurima Sangma

Madhurima is a Senior Program Associate working with Bodoland Government with an aim to strengthen its state capacity. Prior to CEGIS she worked as Consultant with Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and as Program Officer at Centre for Environment Education - North East. She was part of the team which conceptualized Rapid Action Learning (RAL) Workshop and Community Leave No One Behind (CLNOB) Approach for SBM-G with WSSCC and Sanitation Learning Hub, University of Sussex. Madhurima is a Chemistry graduate and did her Masters in Habitat Policy and Practice from TISS Mumbai.

Minal Chauhan

Minal works with the Early Childhood Development team for the Government of Telangana. Prior to CEGIS, she developed policy and program development for the Indian Administrative Fellowship at the Nudge Institute. She has a Masters in Public Adminstration & Management from University College London, on the Chevening Scholarship, and studied Child Rights Law from National Law School, Bengaluru. She has worked at the intersection of livelihoods, WASH, and child protection at various levels with NGOs, governments, and research organisations."

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.

Natti Veera Vasavi

Vasavi is a Program Associate at CEGIS working closely with the Finance Department of Telangana on improving Personnel Management. She holds a master's degree in Development Studies from TISS, Hyderabad and a bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from GITAM, Visakhapatnam. Prior to CEGIS, she worked as a Project Officer at Mahila Abhivruddhi Society, Andhra Pradesh (APMAS) on improving household level water and sanitation facilities. She has also worked at the Society for Employment Generation and Enterprise Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh and City Speaks, Visakhapatnam as a Research Intern.

Nikhitha Babu

Nikhitha joined as a Program Assistant- Outcome Measurement Team. She is based out of Kerala, and graduated from Vimala College in Thrissur with a Bachelors degree in English Language and Literature. She completed Masters in public policy and governance from Azim Premji University in the year 2021. For a very short period of time, She worked as a Research Assistant for a public health research NGO namely Health Action by People, based in Kerala, on a project titled “ Local Self Government & Health in Kerala”, and as an Associate for a Development Consultancy, 4th wheel, based in Mumbai.

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.

Prachi Agarwal

Prachi is a Program Associate with the Outcome Measurement team, stationed in the Bodoland Territorial Region. In 2021, she graduated with a BA in Economics and Public Policy from FLAME University. During her time at FLAME, Prachi worked extensively on research projects focusing on the future of work and community health, among other areas. Prior to CEGIS, Prachi co-headed the WageIndicator Foundation - FLAME University Lab and worked as Research Associate with SEWA Cooperative Federation.

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.

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. 

Ramnath Sankaran

Ramnath anchors CEGIS’s engagements in Education and Nutrition with GoTN. Prior to joining CEGIS, he has spent over two decades in Infosys and comes with extensive experience in sales, design and delivery of large & complex programs, assembling and leading cross-functional teams. Ramnath made a conscious shift from technology sector to explore his interest in Public Policy and effective governance. He is passionate about creating equity for children by improving access to better education, nutrition and is keen to create impact at scale.

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.

Sriharini Narayanan

Sriharini leads the CEGIS engagement with the Government of Telangana. She is a development professional with 17 years experience in India on issues of WASH, governance (Decentralisation, Accountability, Right to Information, Public Management & ICTD) and livelihoods of marginalised groups. She holds a Masters degree in Governance from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and a Masters in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Prior to CEGIS, she has worked with UNICEF, IIT Madras, and IIHS.

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.

Theerdha Sara Reji

Theerdha is a Program Associate in the Public Finance team. She is based in Chennai and is engaged in revenue augmentation for the Government of Tamil Nadu. Prior to CEGIS, she worked as a Young professional at the Andhra Pradesh Centre for Financial Systems and Services under the Finance Department of GoAP, where she primarily worked on expenditure analysis, scheme rationalisation and beneficiary optimization of welfare schemes. She completed her Masters in Economics from Azim Premji University, Bangalore and graduated in Economics from ST. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

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.

Varshitha Sanagani

Varshitha is a Program Associate working on the Early Childhood Development Mission at CEGIS. Before joining CEGIS, she worked with the Poverty Learning Foundation for the past two years and was engaged with state governments, civil society and non-government organizations, and various CSRs for impact assessment projects. She holds an M.A. in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and a B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.

Aditi Achraya

Aditi works as a Program Assistant with the Strategic Public Finance Team in Delhi. She holds a Masters degree in Quantitative Economics from Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi and a Bachelors degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. Fond of economic research, particularly, empirical, she has interned at Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry, Deloitte Analytics and International Innovation Corps.

Apoorva Kavin

Apoorva Kavin works with CEGIS as a Strategy Manager. She is a Strategy and Policy professional with 4+ years of diverse experience across corporate, government and non-profit entities. Prior to CEGIS, some of her engagements include serving as a Lieutenant Governor Fellow in the Hon’ble LG’s Office Govt. of J&K, leading the strategy and policy team in the Chairman’s Office at Lava International, among others. She is a graduate in Economics (Hons) from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi and a Hesselbein Global Leadership Fellow, Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, University of Pittsburgh.

Helda Susan Shaji

Helda works with the Outcome Measurement team as a Programme Associate.She holds a Masters in Public Policy from University College London (UCL); Masters in Economics from Loyola College (Autonomous), Chennai; and a Bachelors in Economics from All Saints’ College, Thiruvananthapuram. Prior to CEGIS, she worked as a Research Consultant with the Inclusion Economics India Centre (IEIC) at IFMR, where she worked on the SHG (Self-Help Group) project-a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) that studied the diffusion of information and knowledge among self-help groups in Chhattisgarh.

Nikhilla B

Nikhilla B works with the Tamil Nadu state team as a Program Assistant. She graduated from OP Jindal Global University with a B.A. (Hons.) in Liberal Arts & Humanities [major in Economics] in the year 2021. During her under graduation, she was associated with Centre for Land Governance as a research intern on the project analysing state experiences on agricultural land leasing act implementation. Prior to CEGIS, she worked as an independent researcher to conduct an impact study of deAsra Foundation’s MSME loan initiative program.

Rameshwara Jha

Rameshwar is Programme Manager, Capacity Building Commission at CEGIS. He worked with Kudumbashree NRO in establishing systems and processes for the flagship entrepreneurship programs under National Rural Livelihood Mission, Ministry of Rural Development across multiple states. Rameshwar holds an M.A in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, an M.A in Development from Azim Premji University, and a B- Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology. He is interested in reading on governance, philosophy and about the history of Indian culture.

Sahithi Kompella

Sahithi works with CEGIS as a Program Associate for State and Markets. She has over 2.5 years of experience in impact evaluation across various sectors. Prior to CEGIS, she worked in Apollo Hospitals and BV-CSRB, where she conducted impact evaluations of various projects in sectors such as healthcare, water conservation, etc. She completed her Masters in Public Policy and Governance and Bachelors in Social Sciences from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad Campus.

Samarth Gupta

Samarth works with CEGIS as a Program Associate for the State and Markets team. Prior to CEGIS he was working with Samhita Social Ventures, as a part of their Research and Implementation teams. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate research diploma in Political Science from Ashoka University.

Shaik Khaleel Pasha

Khaleel is Sr. Executive - Administration, holds Bachelor in Commerce from the Osmania University and he is currently pursuing MBA in Finance from Osmania University. Khaleel worked with Jhpiego as Finance and Administrative Associate. He enjoys playing cricket, traveling, listening to music, volunteering community service. Khaleel Also represented Sportive Cricket Club in 2 day leagues organized by the Hyderabad Cricket Association. He was born and brought up in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Supraja Rayabhari

Supraja is a programme assistant in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) mission project. Before CEGIS, she worked for four years in political consultancy. She extensively worked on the research and strategic insights team and has experience working closely with the political party and leaders. She holds a master's degree in Development Studies and a bachelor's degree in Law. She interned with public policy and advocacy firms during her master’s.

Tushar Sanpal

Tushar works with the Outcome Measurement team as a program associate in Hyderabad. He holds a master’s degree in Economics from Ashoka University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Satyawati College, University of Delhi. He worked as an intern with the Outcome Measurement team in the summer of 2021, which equipped him with invaluable analytical and critical-thinking skills, and motivated him further to pursue research in the field of health and development economics during his master's.

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