Leadership And Staff Profiles

Core Team

Nirjan Rai is the Executive Director at Niti Foundation. He is a development practitioner with expertise in the areas of policy process, economic governance, and private sector development in Nepal. Prior to his engagement with Niti, he was with the Asian Development Bank where he contributed to developing their Country Partnership Strategy for Nepal, led the assessment of Nepal’s policy and institutional framework in supporting sustainable growth, poverty reduction, and the effective use of development assistance, and served as the focal person for ADB’s private sector development initiatives in Nepal. Nirjan also worked for The Asia Foundation in Nepal where he managed research and programs on political process, local governance, and economic development. Nirjan holds a Master in Public Policy degree from George Mason University, Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bennington College, Vermont.

Padmendra P. Shrestha is the Research and Program Manager at Niti Foundation. He has more than 10 years of experience working in the government, private sector, academia and non-profit organizations in Nepal and the United States. His experiences are primarily in the areas of land, human settlement and infrastructure related planning and policy research, democratic policy process and governance, and community involvement in plans and policies. Padmendra was a recipient of the East West Center Fellowship for a Master in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. 

Saumitra Neupane is a Senior Program Officer at Niti Foundation. He coordinates and supports the organization’s program in policy process reform, political economy analysis and policy research in Nepal's hydropower development. He has over 7 years of experience in issues related to sustainable development, and specializes in the fields of energy and natural resource policies.  Saumitra holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Development Practice from TERI University.

Sanat Shrestha is the Administration/Finance Officer at Niti Foundation. Prior to joining Niti, he worked in the credit & marketing department and accounts & administration departments of the Bank of Kathmandu where he analyzed client stocks and kept up-to-date data on insurance policies, property security documents, fixed deposit receipts, and government bonds of credit customers. He has also worked at Magnamax Pvt. Ltd where he supervised the administration department for the smooth operation of the organization. Sanat holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Tribhuvan University.

 Arunima Rana is a Program and Communication Officer at Niti Foundation. She manages and supports the organization’s events, programs and communication. She has several years of experience from her previous engagements at Miyamoto International, LEAD International, NYEF, Himalayan Bank, Orbit International and G.A.A. Arunima holds a master's degree in business administration (MBA) from Ace Institute of Management, Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology degree from Tribhuwan University and Bachelor of Business Administration – Banking and Insurance (BBA-BI) degree from Apex College, Pokhara University

Samjhana Budhathoki is the Administration/Finance Associate at Niti Foundation. She worked as Customer Service Representative at New Horizons Computer Learning Centre. In this role, she was involved in providing information to customers, handling their queries, complaints and all the necessary data entry work. Prior to joining Niti, she worked in Administration department of IDS Energy Pvt. Ltd. where she looked after the overall administration, secretarial and customer service related work. Later she joined the Finance department, where she handled finances, accounts, contracts, tax, internal audit & facilities of the company. Samjhana holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Global College of Management, Tribhuwan University. Currently she is also pursuing her Masters in Business Studies degree from Tribhuwan University.

Dwarika Nath Dhungel is a Senior Researcher at Niti foundation. He was a SPURS Fellow (1984-85) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA and a Visiting Scholar (1999-2000) at the Workshop on Political Theory and Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington USA. He holds MA in Political Science with International Affairs and Diplomacy as major area of study, from the Tribhuvan University and PhD degree in Social Sciences from Nagpur University, India. Dhungel was the Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources (1992 - 1998) and head of Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS) from 2001 to 2006. He is the contributor to a number of publications such as Nepal – An Assertive Monarchy (1976) and the various publications of the Eastern Regional Organization of Public Administration (EROPA). Also he is the co-editor and contributor to a number of publications, such as Contemporary Nepal (1998), The Nepal India Water Resources Relationship Challenges (2009).

Niti Foundation Fellows

Lava Yadav is a Research Fellow at Niti Foundation. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where his research primarily focused on valuing ecosystem services in managed (farmed) landscapes in western Ireland. Prior to his involvement with Niti Foundation he was employed as a lecturer at the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Lava obtained a B.A. (Mathematics) from Bard College, NY, and an M.S. and Ph.D. (Resource Economics) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA.

Niru Yadav is a Research Fellow at Niti Foundation. She is an Economist with research interests in the areas of International Trade and Development Economics. Prior to her engagement with Niti Foundation she was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific, California, USA. She has also worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Center for International Trade, Economics and Environment of Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International based in Jaipur, India. She has worked on areas of regional trade and economic cooperation, trade facilitation, vertical integration and production sharing and on assessments of free trade agreements. She has published in several peer-reviewed academic journals and has a book chapter on “Trade Relations: Some Predictions and Lessons” in South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures published in July 2013. Niru holds a Masters and PhD in Economics from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Past Events

11 June 2015

Ideas for ... Hosted by Nepal Leaders'... more

10 June 2015

Response t ... Co-hosted by Niti Foundatio... more

01 January 1970

Governance ... Niti Foundation with fundin... more

01 January 1970

Community ... Niti Foundation in collabor... more

01 January 1970

Public Pol ... Building on the Policy Diag... more

01 December 2014

Mobilizing ... Niti Foundation partnered w... more

Read More