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Rakesh Rajani


I bring 25 years of experience starting and running CSOs
and 9 years in philanthropy. From 2018 to 2023 I was the VP of Programs at Co-Impact.


Prior to that, I served as the Director of Civic Engagement
and Government at the Ford Foundation in New York. I founded and served as the Head of Twaweza East Africa, an organization that advances citizen agency and open government, and established Uwezo, Africa’s largest program to assess basic literacy and numeracy. Prior to that I co-founded and led HakiElimu, Tanzania’s leading citizen engagement and education advocacy organization, as well as the Kuleana Center for Children’s Rights (now defunct).


I am a founding member and past co-chair of the Open Government Partnership and serve on several non-profit boards.


I live in New York with my independently minded children and wife, and am reportedly a capable househusband, dhobi and cleaner. We keep dreaming of the feeling of the sun and returning to Tanzania.

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