Mr. Nish Acharya
Mr. Nish Acharya is CEO of Equal Innovation Consulting, and consults with some of the world’s leading universities, governments, foundations and companies to assist them with innovation, entrepreneurship and globalization strategies. Nish Acharya is also currently assisting Harvard University & the Brigham & Women's Hospital with the Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation. He also serves as a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress and as a Visiting Fellow with Gateway House: The Indian Council on Global Relations, and as a contributor to Forbes.
Nish is also the author “The India-US Partnership: $1 Trillion By 2030” the path-breaking book recently published by Oxford University Press. In the book, Acharya lays out a roadmap for a relationship between the United States and India that is focused economic and societal development through innovation, entrepreneurship and building the capabilities of institutions in the United States and India to operate more effectively. Scaling this relationship, Acharya believes, is one of the most important undertakings for both nations in the 21st century.
Nish previously served in the Obama Administration, where he was appointed by President Obama as the Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce, where he led the President’s efforts to nurture economic growth through innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization. As part of his work, Nish managed the President’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship – a group of nationally known investors, entrepreneurs and university presidents that inspired the America JOBS Act that legalized crowdfunding. Nish also engaged with twenty-six federal agencies to provide over $100 million in funds to universities, research centers and companies to increase the commercialization of federally-funded research. He engaged with over 500 universities and colleges across the United States to boost their programs supporting innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization.
Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Nish served as Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation, a prominent American philanthropy focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and scalability around the world. Nish led the Foundation's strategic planning, grant making, evaluation and advocacy efforts.
Under his leadership, the Foundation’s “Sandboxes” – centers of innovation and entrepreneurship have become a leading international model for regional economic development. During his tenure, the Foundation created a Sandbox in India, which supported innovation and entrepreneurs to reach over one million people. Nish has also led the Foundation’s venture philanthropy, working to help scale Indian NGO’s like Akshaya Patra and Agastya and the United Way throughout India. It also created Sandboxes to boost the economies of the Merrimack Valley cities of Lowell, MA and Lawrence, MA and New Brunswick, Canada.
Nish was previously a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bretton Woods Committee, The Indus Entrepreneurs, and the Clinton Global Initiative. He also served as a Board member of Akshaya Patra USA and the United Way Worldwide Leadership Global Advisory Council.
Nish also served five years as a Presidential Appointee in the Clinton Administration. He has been quoted in many major publications, including Forbes, the Economist, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Asian Week, the Times of India, the Economic Times, the Financial Times, Newsweek, BBC and NPR.