Naveen Jha

About Naveen Jha
  • Chief Executive Officer, Deshpande Foundation

Naveen Jha is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Deshpande Foundation, India. He has been with the foundation since its inception in India bringing a vision of enabling local solutions through a bottom-up approach. Naveen graduated from Brandeis University, a top ranked university in the USA, with a Masters in International Development and was the recipient of the prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship. He has also taken numerous courses at MIT’s Poverty Lab and Harvard University.

Under Naveen’s leadership, the Foundation has touched thousands of lives including non-profits, students, youth, academics and universities. A serial entrepreneur himself, Naveen has launched several initiatives within and outside of the Deshpande Foundation. Naveen is passionate about mentoring youth who are interested in social entrepreneurship. This has led to the launch of several highly successful fellowship programs that has produced hundreds of graduates now working with social enterprises all over India. Naveen has also pioneered a series of youth development programs that helps transform the attitudes of young people into solving problems locally. One of these programs, LEAD, has more than ten thousand students engaged in problem solving in their communities and has unleashed the power of social change within their neighborhoods. Under his direction, within the Northwestern Karnataka footprint of the foundation, an innovative grant making program has led to several effective and scalable models of development.

Naveen has helped build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Hubli Sandbox consisting of the Greater Hubli/Dharwad area. He has been instrumental in founding the local chapter of TiE, one of the largest international non-profits promoting entrepreneurship, and serves as its current President. In addition to TiE, Naveen also serves as a board member of several for profit and non-profit organizations.

Prior to his work with the Deshpande Foundation, Naveen worked for six years at PRADAN, a pioneering livelihoods organization where, as Team leader, he helped create usable and sustainable prototypes of livelihoods programs and water resource management.


Scaling-Up Financing for SDGs in Asia: Insights from Practitioners

08 Jun 2017

This session will identify some models and examples from leading practitioners in this sector, as well as highlight some of opportunities for collaboration.

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