Ramanan Raghavendran Assumes Leadership as Chair of University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees, Championing Sustainability and Philanthropy

Featured & Cover Ramanan Raghavendran Assumes Leadership as Chair of University of Pennsylvania's Board of Trustees Championing Sustainability and Philanthropy

Ramanan Raghavendran assumes the role of chair for the board of trustees at the University of Pennsylvania, succeeding Scott L. Bok, who held the position from July 2021 until his resignation in December 2023.

A distinguished alumnus of Penn, Raghavendran currently serves as the managing partner and co-founder of Amasia, a global venture capital firm with a specific focus on climate and sustainability.

J. Larry Jameson, Penn’s interim president, expressed his enthusiasm for Raghavendran’s appointment, referring to it as an “inspiring choice.” Jameson highlighted Raghavendran’s extensive connection to the university, having earned three Penn degrees and actively participated in various leadership roles. He also acknowledged Raghavendran’s professional experience, particularly in navigating a rapidly evolving business landscape. Jameson expressed confidence in Raghavendran’s collaboration with other distinguished trustees to advance the university’s significant and impactful missions.

Julie Beren Platt, who served as interim chair and will resume her role as vice chair, commended Raghavendran’s dedication to Penn. Drawing from her experience working closely with him on the Executive Committee, she emphasized his thoughtful approach to listening and his deep investment in relationships.

In response to his appointment, Raghavendran conveyed his honor in assuming the role of Chair of Penn’s Board of Trustees. He expressed a profound belief in the crucial role that esteemed American universities, such as the University of Pennsylvania, play as custodians of the values that define modern civilization.

Raghavendran’s professional journey in venture capital and growth equity spans over three decades. He has held influential positions at General Atlantic, Insight Partners, TH Lee Putnam Ventures, and Kubera Partners. His career commenced at McKinsey & Company, marking the beginning of a trajectory that would lead him to his current leadership position at Amasia.

Beyond his corporate pursuits, Raghavendran actively contributes to societal and environmental causes. He currently holds a position on the board of SF Goodwill and serves on the advisory council of the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University. Over the last 30 years, he has played a pivotal role as a seed funder and board member for numerous NGOs. His ongoing affiliation with Magic Bus, an organization dedicated to supporting at-risk children in South Asia, further underscores his commitment to social impact.

Raghavendran’s association with the University of Pennsylvania dates back to 2014 when he first became a university trustee. In 2020, he assumed the role of chair for the local, national, and global engagement committee. His contributions continued to grow, as he joined the executive committee in 2022. Furthermore, he has been actively involved with the School of Arts and Sciences board of advisors since 2012, eventually becoming its chair in 2022.

In summarizing Raghavendran’s multifaceted engagement with the University of Pennsylvania, it is evident that his commitment extends beyond his professional achievements. His extensive involvement in various capacities underscores a deep-rooted passion for the institution’s growth and impact.

“With three Penn degrees, devoted University engagement in multiple leadership roles, and professional experience in a rapidly changing business environment, he is poised to partner with other distinguished Trustees to support our university’s important and impactful missions.”

Reflecting on Raghavendran’s appointment, Platt adds, “Having worked closely with Ramanan as a member of the Executive Committee, I have seen first-hand his passion for and commitment to Penn. He is someone who listens with intention and invests deeply in relationships.”

Finally, Raghavendran himself emphasizes his belief in the vital role that institutions like the University of Pennsylvania play in shaping and preserving the values of modern civilization. “I am honored to take on the role of Chair of Penn’s Board of Trustees,” he states, encapsulating his deep sense of privilege in contributing to the university’s leadership.

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