Raj Kumar has been a part of nine presidential campaigns, from the Orange Revolution to the referendum to recall Hugo Chavez. But nothing gets Raj’s competitive juices flowing like the opportunity to change the world through social enterprise and new media. Our founding President, he saw the world-shaping potential of Devex while a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School and promptly dropped out to build it.
Raj began his career organizing campaign events for President Clinton as part of his national advance team. Later he became Principal and Political Director at Penn, Schoen & Berland, the political strategy and polling firm that served Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Mike Bloomberg, Tony Blair, Bill Gates, and dozens of other elected and corporate leaders.
He took a detour from politics and polling during the dot-com days, co-founding SmartPortfolio.com, a financial information website that he and his partners sold to TheStreet.com in 2000. With a lifelong interest in the developing world (he spent part of his childhood in Kerala, India and is the nephew of two development economists who took him on field visits as a kid), Raj enrolled in graduate school to enter the world of global development. The rest is Devex history.
Raj is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and has worked, studied, and traveled in 50 countries. He writes and speaks about global development, and appears as a guest analyst in the media (including on Devex of course!). As President of Devex, Raj has been profiled in Forbes, the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and theWashington Post, where Devex was called the Bloomberg of foreign aid. You can find him on a plane, often alongside his wife Maria Teresa Kumar, dreaming up the next Devex innovation.