Dr Reuben Abraham is CEO of IDFC Foundation and IDFC Institute, a Mumbai based think/do tank focused on state capability and political economy issues.
Dr Abraham’s expertise lies in understanding the underlying processes of economic development, with a focus on institutions, and the intersection of public policy and politics. Besides, he has spent the last decade working on issues related to urbanisation, perhaps the single biggest macro-trend across most major emerging markets outside Latin America.
He is a Senior Fellow at the Marron Institute at New York University, and at the Milken Institute in Singapore. In addition, he is a Senior Advisor to Swiss Re, and an Honorary Advisor to the New Zealand government at the New Zealand Asia Foundation, a member of the Global Advisory Council of Intrinsic Labs and an International Advisory Council member of the UAE Ministry of Economy and a member of the Advisory Council of the China-India Visiting Scholars (CIVS) Fellowship.
Before IDFC, he was a professor and Executive Director of the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS) at the top-ranked Indian School of Business (ISB). In 2012, he was named to Wired Magazine’s “Smart List 2012: 50 people who will change the world.” In 2013 and 2016, he was a Fellow at the Legatum Institute in London. He was selected as a Young Global Leader for 2009 by the World Economic Forum, where he currently serves as vice-chair of the South Asia regional board, and on the Global Futures Council on The Future of Cities and Urbanisation.
He is a member on the boards of India’s Centre for Civil Society; THNK, The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership; the board of trustees of the Commons Project in New York; and on the investment committee of Endiya Partners, an Indian deep-tech venture fund.
For a decade, he served as an independent director at the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) in New York, a global impact investing pioneer. He was also a long-serving member of the International Advisory Board of Unicredit Bank, Italy’s largest bank. He completed his M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York.