Oxfam India has appointed Amitabh Behar as the Chief Executive Officer to lead the organisation’s fight against inequality, poverty and injustice in the country, besides carrying forward its humanitarian work.
He succeeded Nisha Agrawal, who was the founding CEO of Oxfam India and headed the organisation since March 2008.
Amitabh is a civil society leader and former Executive Director of National Foundation for India. He is recognised for his work on governance accountability, social and economic equality, and citizen participation.
He is one of the leading experts of people-centred advocacy and chairs organisational boards of Amnesty International India, Navsarjan, and Yuva. He is the vice board chair of CIVICUS and also sits on the board of other organisations like Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), Mobile Crèche, VANI, Global Fund for Community Foundation (GFCF).
Amitabh was selected after an extensive and transparent process, led by the Board Chair of Oxfam India Kiran Karnik, with the help of a prominent executive search firm.
“I welcome Amitabh as the new CEO of Oxfam India. In an outstanding field of candidates, Amitabh stood out as exemplifying Oxfam’s values and ambitions. He brings grass-roots knowledge, passion and clear vision coupled with his commitment to social justice, and leadership, which has inspired many. I thank Nisha for her significant contribution towards building Oxfam India as a strong national organisation and making it a vibrant member of Oxfam International during her term,” said Kiran Karnik.
“After 10 years at the helm, I am delighted to hand over the leadership to Amitabh. He is deeply rooted in the Indian civil society and brings with him the spirit of collaboration. His knowledge and experience will be of great value to the organisation’s fight for an equal opportunity India. He also has a lot to contribute to Oxfam International, as the Confederation seeks to reinvent itself in light of current challenges,” said Nisha Agrawal.
Amitabh has earned an M.Phil in Political Science from Jawahar Lal Nehru University. He was also a research fellow at the University Grants Commission.
“This is a historic inflection point. The power of poor, ordinary citizens and marginalized people is shaping a new vision of the world. At this transformative moment, the core universal values of human dignity, rights and substantive justice have to be the fulcrum of this change. It is a huge privilege and responsibility to get an opportunity to lead Oxfam India in these times. I am looking forward to Oxfam India working in collaboration with other civil society groups playing an important role in nurturing, supporting and strengthening people’s power for a just, inclusive and humane world,” said Amitabh Behar.