Dr Jessica Seddon is Founder and Former Managing Director of Okapi, an IIT Madras-incubated strategy group focused on institutional design for social innovation, Adjunct Faculty at IIT Madras, and a Former Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, Mumbai. Dr. Seddon has advised a number of state and national government initiatives in India, most recently the Kelkar Committee on Public Private Partnerships, the National Transport Development Policy Committee, and the High Powered Expert Committee on Urban Infrastructure. She is on the advisory boards of the Wilderhill Global Clean Energy Index (NEX) and Indian startups Prakti Design Labs and Vidyartha.
Dr. Seddon has published book chapters and articles on infrastructure, Indian political economy, IT and governance, environmental regulation and other institutional design topics in international academic and policy venues including Cambridge University Press, Journal of Development Economics, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Foreign Affairs, Bloomberg Business Week and Harvard Business Review. Her work has been supported by grants from Google.org, Australian Development Research Awards, ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth, Stanford University, and University of California, San Diego, among others. She currently writes a fortnightly column for Mint and has been a regular contributor to the Financial Express, Indian Express, Caravan, and other periodicals in the past.
Prior to founding Okapi, Dr. Seddon served as Head of Research at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (Bangalore), Director of the Centre for Development Finance at IFMR, Chennai, and Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego. She was also a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, working on institutional design for global air quality management.
Dr. Seddon earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and her B.A. from Harvard University.