Nandini Harihareswara

Senior Advisor, Inclusive Digital Economies
Profile / Bio: 

Nandini Harihareswara is a Senior Advisor on Inclusive Digital Economies, Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Formerly, she served as the Digital Finance Regional Technical Specialist, responsible for the creation & implementation of the United Nations Capital Development Fund Digital Economy Strategy in Zambia and Malawi. She led an international team focused on providing grants, technical assistance, loans and loan guarantees to public sector and private sector organizations to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals. She worked from 2015-2019 to advancing digital financial inclusion in partnership with Mobile Network Operators, Banks, FinTechs, Central Banks, Telcommunications Regulators and others. Most recently, she was the architect for the UNCDF’s Women’s Economic Empowerment strategy called Women as Builders of Digital Economies in 2020 and serves as UNCDF’s lead focal point to the $40B Generation Equality Forum coalition. She was a founding member of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Digital Development Division in 2011 and served as the Strategy & Operations Chief, and Senior Digital Finance Advisor. While there, she also co-founded one of USAID’s flagship public-private partnership, the Better than Cash Alliance. She launched the USAID Portfolio Acceleration initiative, an effort to advance USAID’s development objectives in Agriculture, Humanitarian Assistance and Power using Digital Financial Services. Prior to working for the Digital Development team, Nandini worked as an Investment Officer for the USAID Development Credit Authority Office, and a Presidential Management Fellow at the US Department of Transportation as well as the Urban Transport Division of the World Bank. She is the author of numerous publications on the intersection of finance, technology and international development, most recently a co-author of a paper for the G20 titled “Advancing Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion”. She serves on the World Bank Finequity Technical Advisory Committee, and on the Overseas Women’s Club of Bangalore. Nandini has an MBA and a Masters in International Trade and Investment Policy from the George Washington University. She also holds a BS in Psychology and a BA in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego.