The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation named M Hari Menon as the Country Director in India effective from May 24.
Menon will replace Nachiket Mor, who held this position for the past three years and resigned last month to return to his prior work as a donor and investor in India’s development sector, with a special focus on health system design.
With an endowment of $50.7 billion, Gates Foundation is the world’s largest private philanthropic organisation and has offices in Delhi and Patna. It plays an influential role in India in public policy, funding research and providing aid and grants towards rolling out projects in public health, sanitation, digital financial inclusion, agriculture, and gender equality.
As Country Director, Menon will be working closely with India’s central and state governments, local and global non-profits, community groups, researchers, and the private sector.
He will also be working along with three directors and their teams; Alkesh Wadhwani who is Director for the Poverty Alleviation portfolio, Liz Clyma who is the Health Director, and Sanjay Ubale who joined the foundation recently and is the Policy Director.
Menon has been associated with the Gates Foundation since 2004, with a brief role outside the foundation between 2011 and 2013 when he served as a strategic philanthropy adviser.
He has, over the years, supported a wide portfolio of work in public health, especially in maternal and child health and HIV prevention, and in sectors like agriculture development, sanitation, and financial inclusion. He also oversees the foundation’s policy and government relations for South and South-East Asia. Currently, he is a Director, Global Program Advocacy & Communications, based out of the foundation’s headquarters in Seattle.
Menon holds a graduate degree in business management from XLRI School of Management, Jamshedpur and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering & Technology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
“Hari has played a key role in forging strong partnerships with governments, the private sector, philanthropists, and non-governmental organizations in India and globally. His experience will help the foundation support India’s efforts to deliver inclusive growth that will benefit every citizen,” said Dr Christopher Elias, President of the foundation’s Global Development division.