Jagdeesh Rao (Co-chair)

A practitioner from the very beginning, Jagdeesh’s  35 year  professional engagement has been on interrelated issues of poverty and environmental degradation and on ‘systems thinking’ at the interface of ecology, society and economy.

Jagdeesh has been the Chief Executive of Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) since its inception in 2001 till July 2020. He has been actively engaged in influencing policy, advancing knowledge generation and exchange, and building a larger constituency for Commons. While his work has been on village commons such as community forests and pastures, he believes that Commons as a paradigm of self regulatory governance holds promise for urban areas and other domains such as knowledge, data and similar shared resources.

Jagdeesh has been conferred the ‘Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship’ (2015) and he is also a Henry Arnhold (Mulago) Conservation Fellow (2017) and Senior Ashoka Fellow (2021). His areas of interest include Commons, polycentric governance, shared knowledge and action platforms, and systems change.
He is married with two precious daughters. And is currently based out of his home town – Nagarjuna Sagar and frequently shuttles down to Hyderabad.