Executive Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia
Shobhini Mukerji is the executive director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia office. J-PAL started as a center at the economics department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to improve the effectiveness of anti-poverty programmes by providing policymakers with clear scientific evidence on what works and not in the fight against global poverty. In 2019, J-PAL co-founders Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, and long-time research affiliate Michael Kremer, won the Nobel Prize in Economics.
As the CEO of J-PAL’s largest office, hosted by IFMR, and employing 200 full time staff, Shobhini oversees the pan-India operations of J-PAL SA, which has partnerships with over 16 state governments and several central government agencies. Shobhini works closely with donors, policymakers, civil society partners, and research institutions to promote collaborations to increase the use of evidence in decision-making and scale-ups of successful social programmes in India and the South Asia region. Shobhini has over 18 years of extensive research and evaluation experience, ranging from designing and managing large scale primary data collection and analysis, to providing advice to organisations and governments on research design, monitoring, and evaluation strategies. Her research includes recently published papers on primary education interventions in India found to be highly impactful and at the stages of being scaled up across several Indian states and in parts of Africa, to reach over 40 million children.
Shobhini is on the Executive Board of CARE India, the largest non-profit in India focusing on empowerment of women and girls through programmes in health, education, livelihoods and disaster preparedness. Shobhini began her career working at Pratham, one of the largest non-governmental organisations of India, working towards universal quality primary education to ensure every child is in school and has mastered basic literacy and numeracy. In the past, Shobhini has served on various expert committees for reviewing research proposals and on advisory boards of non-profits.
Shobhini Mukerji holds a Master’s degree in Social Research Methods from the London School of Economics with a focus on Social Policy and Statistics.