Manish Bapna joined WRI as its executive vice president and managing director in 2007. He served as WRI’s acting president from 2011-2012.
Manish’s interests and expertise are in international development with a particular focus on rural poverty and natural resources. Manish chairs WRI’s management team and oversees the impact and quality of program strategies. Under his leadership, the institute has developed a five-year strategic plan, deepened its engagement in China, India and Brazil, and initiated new work on sustainable cities, adaptation, and the post-2015 development agenda.
Previously, Manish was the executive director of the nonprofit Bank Information Center (BIC), whose mission is to protect rights and promote sustainability in the projects and policies of international financial institutions. Manish presided over considerable growth at BIC, including sizable increases in staff, funding and influence, especially in developing countries.
Manish has also served as a senior economist and task team leader at the World Bank, where he led multidisciplinary teams in designing and implementing water, watershed, and rural development projects in Asia and Latin America. Several of the projects he helped develop received “excellence awards” by the Bank and were highly rated in independent evaluations.
His experience in international development also includes advisory roles at Seva Mandir (a leading grassroots nonprofit in India) and Women’s World Banking (a microfinance support organization). Earlier, he worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company in the financial services and technology industries.
Manish has been cited in front-page articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and International Herald Tribune and his op-eds are featured in major global and national papers. He has testified multiple times before U.S. Congressional Committee and serves on the board of Oxfam America.
Manish received graduate degrees in business and international development from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in engineering from MIT. He is married to Dr. Geeta Nanda and they have two children, Laila and Arav.