Dhananjai Mohan is a member of 1988 batch of Indian Forest Service, Uttarakhand cadre. Before taking over as Director Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun in January 2020, he served as Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Planning and Financial Management and Chairman State Biodiversity Board, in the state of Uttarakhand. He earlier served in the wildlife headquarters of Uttrarakhand Forest department for over five years. He is a graduate in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Kanpur. He has managed protected areas in undivided UP and written management plans for many of them. He did his Post-Graduate Diploma in Wildlife Management in the year 1992. He was awarded a Ph.D. degree on ‘Habitat selection of birds in New Forest, Dehradun, India’ by Wildlife Institute of India centre of Forest Research Institute University, Dehradun. He served as an Associate Professor in the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun from 1998 to 2004 dealing with the subject of wildlife conservation. He has undergone short courses on `Biodiversity Conservation and Management’ at the University of Wales, Bangor, UK and Colorado state University, USA. Later he served as Professor in the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun from 2006 to 2013 where he led avifaunal research and collaborated with University of Chicago to conduct research on Himalayan bird diversity gradient. He has written a book and contributed a book chapter and has many publications particularly on avifauna, his primary interest. Some of these were published in topmost international journals like Nature, Nature communication, American naturalist, Biology letters and Journal of Ornithology. Dr Mohan has been a passionate birdwatcher and naturalist for nearly four decades and has spanned the length and breadth of the country in pursuit of it.
Dr. Dhananjai is a fellow of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD), a programme initiated by the Rockefeller foundation. He has been a recipient of Dr Salim Ali fellowship of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India in 2005. He served as a consultant to TERI and supervised a doctoral research and 6 M.Sc. dissertations in wildlife science and forestry.