Naveen Jha, currently Senior Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellow at Harvard Business School, Harvard University, is passionate about the power of innovation and human ingenuity in solving problems and bringing about positive change in society. He aspires to be a leader who believes that delivering impact is the only measure of success. He stands for transferring ideas into actions and scale.
Naveen was the CEO of the Deshpande Foundation India, a leader in sustainable and scalable enterprises with quantifiable social and economic impact. Naveen founded and led the Deshpande Education Trust, one of India’s biggest skill education providers for youth. He also founded Sandbox Startups, an entrepreneurship incubation ecosystem that has supported the emergence of many problem-solving entrepreneurs. His notable achievements also include launching the Leaders Accelerating Development, a leadership development program that has engaged 30,000 college students in societal problem-solving. He is also the co-founder and the former president of the Hubli chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). He also expanded sustainable models of low-cost water harvesting (5,000+ farm ponds) and agriculture practices, including diversification of crops resulting in higher crop yields, all of which have benefited over 50,000 farmers across the Indian states of Karnataka and Telangana. He has also been a member of the State of Karnataka’s Knowledge Commission and served on the board of several for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Naveen obtained his bachelor's and master’s degrees from Jamia Millia University in New Delhi, India, and a master’s degree in International Development from Brandeis University. Naveen is the recipient of the International Ford Foundation Fellowship 2005 and was at Oxford University in 2019 as the British Chevening Gurukul Fellow. Naveen joined Harvard University in 2022 as ALI Fellow and is a 2023 Senior Fellow in the ALI Program.