Dr Ganesan Balachander is the Managing Director and CEO of Krishi Bounty Biotech, Nandi Hills, Bangalore, which is a high-tech plant tissue culture laboratory. He was earlier the Executive Director of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), a globally recognized environmental think tank. Prior to ATREE, he was the first Indian appointed as the Regional Director for South Asia of the Ford Foundation where he served for six years. He was subsequently appointed as a Director of the Consortium Board of the CGIAR where he served as the Chair of its Science-Programs-Partnership committee. He also helped initiate a triple bottom line company, Safe Harvest in the food and natural products sphere in India. Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, he was the Director for Asia Programs at the Mountain Institute in Washington, D.C. managing large conservation projects. For a decade from the early 90s he worked for a variety of organizations concerned with community-based environmental management and development in Asia and North America, including serving as Director of the Biodiversity Conservation Network, a USAID-funded program for promoting conservation of vulnerable ecosystems in the Asia-Pacific region.
Before charting a career in conservation and sustainable development, he worked for many years in the banking sector, holding senior positions with Citibank and Marine Midland Bank in New York and Standard Chartered Bank in Europe and in Chennai, India.
Balachander has a BS degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an MS degree in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, both in Chennai. He holds an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Rutgers University, New Jersey. He was also a Bullard Fellow at Harvard University and has published widely, including being a co-author of the recent IPBES’ global assessment of the sustainable use of wild species.