Nish Acharya consults with some of the world’s leading universities, governments, foundations and companies to assist them with innovation, entrepreneurship and globalization strategies. Mr. Acharya is currently leading the Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative with the Calvert Foundation, serving as a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress and Indian Council on Global Relations, and a columnist for Forbes Media. Nish previously served in the Obama Administration, where he was appointed by President Obama as the Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce, where he led the President’s efforts to nurture economic growth through innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization. As part of his work, Nish managed the President’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship – a group of nationally known investors, entrepreneurs and university presidents that inspired the America JOBS Act that legalized crowdfunding. Nish also engaged with twenty-six federal agencies to provide over $100 million in funds to universities, research centers and companies to increase the commercialization of federally-funded research. He engaged with over 500 universities and colleges across the United States to boost their programs supporting innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization. Prior to joining Commerce, Nish served as Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation, a prominent American philanthropy focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and scalability around the world. Nish led the Foundation's strategic planning, grant making, evaluation and advocacy efforts. Under his leadership, the Foundation’s “Sandboxes” – centers of innovation and entrepreneurship have become a leading international model for regional economic development. During his tenure, the Foundation created a Sandbox in India, which supported innovation and entrepreneurs to reach over one million people. Nish has also led the Foundation’s venture philanthropy, working to help scale Indian NGO’s like Akshaya Patra and Agastya and the United Way throughout India. It also created Sandboxes to boost the economies of the Merrimack Valley cities of Lowell, MA and Lawrence, MA and New Brunswick, Canada. Nish currently serves on the Advisory Board of The Economist Higher Education Forum and was previously a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bretton Woods Committee, The Indus Entrepreneurs, and the Clinton Global Initiative. He also served as a Board member of Akshaya Patra USA and the United Way Worldwide Leadership Global Advisory Council. Nish also served five years as a Presidential Appointee in the Clinton Administration, where he worked with the Administrator and Deputy Administrator of the US Agency for International Development for USAID programs in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, and has worked for Education Secretary Richard Riley and as Associate Director of Scheduling & Advance for the President. Finally, he has been on the founding team of several startup companies and non-profits. Nish has a Master's in Public Administration from George Washington University; and a BS in Political Science from Northeastern University and is a graduate of an MIT Sloan School of Management Executive Program. He has been quoted in many major publications, including the Forbes, the Economist, Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Asian Week, the Times of India, the Economic Times, the Financial Times, Newsweek, BCC and NPR.