Ramaswami Balasubramaniam

Development Scholar

Having embarked on his journey in the development sector by living and working for several years among remote forest based tribal communities in the southern Indian district of Mysuru, Dr. R Balasubramaniam (Balu) is a widely respected development activist, leadership trainer, thinker and writer.

After his MBBS, he earned his MPhil in Hospital Administration & Health Systems Management from BITS, Pilani.  He has a Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University.

His living habits were greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and at the age of 19, he founded the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement based on the principles of Ahimsa, Satya, Seva and Tyaga.

He has spent more than three decades of his life in the service of the rural and tribal poor in the forests of India. He is also the Founder and Chairman of Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement, a public policy thinktank in India.

Dr Balu embodies a rare blend of grassroots and macro perspectives and policy through his multi-faceted experience of more than three decades.  He is a Tata Scholar, a Mason Fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School and a Fellow at the Hauser Center for Civil Society, Harvard University.  He was the Head and Visiting Professor of the Vivekananda Chair, University of Mysore twice.

He is currently a visiting professor at Cornell University, USA and at IIT-Delhi, India where he teaches courses on Leadership and Human Development.  He coaches and mentors’ senior leaders in the non-profit, corporate, government and educational sectors globally, apart from running leadership workshops for people from these sectors.

He is the Chairman of the Social Stock Exchange Advisory Committee set up by SEBI. He is currently the Member-HR in the Capacity Building Commission of the Government of India.

He has authored seven books, both in Kannada and English.  More about him, his work and books are at www.drrbalu.com