Raj Kumar believes foreign aid can be utilized more efficiently with great benefits for the world’s poor. A social entrepreneur and new media executive, he created the online marketplace that connects and informs the global development community.
As President of Devex, Raj has been profiled in Forbes, the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and the Washington Post, where Devex was called the Bloomberg of foreign aid. Devex.com is the world’s most popular global development website, serving over one thousand subscribing organizations from the World Bank, UNICEF, and CARE to McKinsey, Chevron, and IBM.
Among the first social enterprises of its kind, Raj founded Devex in 2000 in his Cambridge apartment when he was a Harvard Kennedy School student. Today Devex has more than 100 reporters, analysts, and technology staff around the world and connects over 500,000 aid workers and global development executives to a dynamic network of information, people, and ideas on devex.com. Through this unique platform, partnerships with leading organizations, and initiatives which recognize leadership and innovation, Raj and Devex are transforming global development.
Raj was Principal and Political Director in the strategy firm Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates and has been an adviser and election monitor for presidential elections in Venezuela, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Israel, and Ukraine, where he conducted exit polling during the Orange Revolution. He was a co-founder of SmartPortfolio.com Inc., a successful financial information company sold to TheStreet.com in 2000. Earlier he was a staff member of President Clinton’s national advance team. Raj graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and finished one year of graduate studies at Harvard Kennedy School before dropping out to cofound Devex.
He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, speaks Spanish, and has worked, studied, and traveled in 50 countries. Raj is a speaker and writer on issues of global development and social entrepreneurship, and appears as a guest analyst in the media. A New Jersey native, now 36, he spent part of his childhood in Kerala, India, where he first became interested in global development, and now lives in Washington, DC with his wife Maria Teresa Kumar and their daughter Lucia Mercedes Kumar.