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Nish Acharya

Senior Advisor, Northeastern University


Nish Acharya has spent nearly twenty years helping governments, companies and organizations to innovate, become more entrepreneurial, and prepare for an innovation-driven global economy. Most recently, he served as President Obama’s Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where he had the chance to manage the President’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He worked closely with twenty-six federal agencies, over 500 universities, and leading technology companies to develop strategies to increase commercialization, innovation, and entrepreneurship across the United States. Prior to that, Nish spent many years as Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation, an international philanthropy focused on building regional innovation ecosystems. The foundation's “Sandboxes” showed that contextually-relevant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems can be built and nurtured anywhere in the world – from rural India to MIT. Nish has also been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative and a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. Nish is currently advising Northeastern University on its global strategy, investing in social enterprises