The Rockefeller Foundation, now in its second century of advancing the well-being of humanity, has announced the appointment of Ravi Venkatesan to its Board of Trustees. Venkatesan is the former Chairman of Microsoft India and currently Founder and Chairman of Social Venture Partners India, a network of philanthropists addressing social problems. He is also a Venture Partner at impact investor Unitus Seed Fund.
“With our commitment to catalyse new ideas and innovations at The Rockefeller Foundation, I am delighted to welcome Ravi Venkatesan, a proven leader with strong business and technology backgrounds,” said Board Chair David Rockefeller, Jr. “His experience will be invaluable in advancing the Foundation’s commitment to scaling innovations that expand opportunity, realize shared prosperity, and create jobs for more people globally.”
“Our century of investment in Asia has focused on addressing our dual goals of promoting more inclusive economies and building greater resilience against shocks and stresses,” said Dr Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Ravi, with his commitment to philanthropy along with his eye for solutions and relentless drive for innovation, will provide essential guidance to our work in the years ahead.”
“I am thrilled and honoured to be joining The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees,” Venkatesan said. “The Rockefeller Foundation’s history of supporting the ingenuity of innovators who have transformed and improved billions of lives of poor or vulnerable people is unparalleled, and I very much look forward to contributing to its legacy.”
As Chairman of Microsoft India between 2004 and 2011, Venkatesan helped build India into Microsoft’s second-largest presence in the world and one of its fastest growing markets. He was instrumental in creating Microsoft India’s Project Shiksha, a computer literacy program which has so far trained over 40 million school children in India.
Prior to Microsoft, Venkatesan was the Chairman of Cummins India, a leader of power solutions and engines. He is also the author of an acclaimed book “Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere,” published by Harvard Business Review.