Skip Navigation

Rakesh Rajani

Rakesh Rajani is the Vice President of Programs at Co-Impact.

Until 2018, Rakesh served as the Director of Civic Engagement and Government at the Ford Foundation, responsible for US and global programs on democratic participation, taxes and budgets, and protecting civic space. Previously he founded and served as the Head of Twaweza, an East African organization that promotes citizen agency and open government, and led the establishment of Uwezo, Africa’s largest program to assess basic literacy and numeracy. Prior to that he served as the founding executive director of HakiElimu, Tanzania’s leading citizen engagement and education advocacy organization.

Rakesh is also a founding member and past co-chair of the Open Government Partnership, which seeks to restore the social compact between people and governments in numerous countries covering more than two billion people. He has played key roles in establishing several civil society and media platforms in Tanzania, and consulted on global development for, the Hewlett Foundation, Hivos and UNICEF, among others.

Rakesh serves on several non-profit boards, including the Hewlett Foundation, the International Budget Partnership (IBP), and Innovations in Poverty Action (IPA), and is an advisor to the Luminate, part of the Omidyar Group. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and has been a Fellow at Harvard University.

Rakesh holds a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Literature from Brandeis University. He graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He has written and edited over 400 papers and popular publications in English and Swahili. He lives with his independently minded children and wife in New York and is reportedly a very capable house-husband.

Authored Content

Rakesh Rajani at the 2019 OGP Global Summit

Faces of Open Government: Rakesh Rajani

As OGP celebrates its 10th anniversary, we sat down with Rakesh Rajani, an open gov advocate who has been involved with OGP since its inception.

Q&A with Rakesh Rajani “Government is Us”

You were very involved in bringing OGP to life. Are you surprised at how it’s developed? It’s all happened quickly. For several years a motley crew of us worked on the idea of open government, open budgets, open data –…

Show More
Open Government Partnership