Rukmini Banerji is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Pratham Education Foundation. Having joined the organisation in 1996, over the years Rukmini has worked extensively on Pratham’s education programmes in rural and urban areas. She has played a key role in designing and supporting large-scale partnerships with state governments in India for improving children’s learning outcomes. Rukmini led Pratham’s research and assessment efforts including the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) exercise from 2005 to 2014.
In 2023, in partnership with Community Jameel, Pratham launched the Pratham-Jameel Second Chance programme, which aims to reduce knowledge gaps and provide foundational education to girls in particular by providing academic support to 10,000 female school dropouts in order to enable them to reach grade 10 and obtain their secondary education certification.
In 2008, Rukmini received the Maulana Abul Kalam Shiksha Puraskar trophy by the Government of Bihar, India, as the first recipient of the award. In 2021, Rukmini was awarded the Yidan Prize for Education Development. She studied economics at St Stephen’s College, Delhi and the Delhi School of Economics. She was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University (1981-83) and completed her PhD at the University of Chicago in 1991.