Pratham, one of India’s largest and most respected education NGOs, announces the appointment of Manisha Bharti as the first Chief Executive Officer of Pratham USA and Global Executive. The organization made the announcement July 15, 2021. Bharti, who will start in September, brings more than 25 years of professional experience in global development, having held senior leadership positions at FHI 360 and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is currently Chief of Strategy and Programs at GHR Foundation, one of Minnesota’s largest philanthropic organizations, where she oversees a grant portfolio within health, education and international development, Pratham-USA said in a July 15, 2021 press release.
“The position of Chief Executive Officer and Global Executive has been established to unify Pratham’s business development, strategy and communications,” Deepak Raj, chairman of Pratham USA is quoted saying in the press release. “Manisha’s appointment marks a significant commitment by the organization to strengthen our US chapters while enhancing our brand globally and improving alignment across regions.” “Manisha is ideally suited for this role,” said MadhavChavan, co-founder and president of Pratham. “Throughout her career, she has driven change, scaled organizations and displayed a talent for bringing people together—invaluable assets for helping shape Pratham’s future.”
Pratham CEO Dr. Rukmini Banerji welcomed Bharti’s induction and said, “Our India and US teams have always worked very closely with one another, but this was particularly true during COVID. Together, we can go from strength to strength while at the same time supporting the growth of our international work. With her background and experience, Manisha will be an integral part of this next phase of Pratham.” “There is such a need for the kind of grassroots, high-quality education Pratham provides with its community-based and digital platforms that are increasingly global in scope,” Bharti said. “I’m excited and humbled by this opportunity to help shepherd and co-author Pratham’s next chapter. I look forward to working with the global team to deepen Pratham’s impact in India and share its learnings to improve education around the world.” Executive Director Bala Venkatachalam will remain in his position until the transition is complete, at which time he will assume a new global role within the organization.