Reuben Abraham

Reuben Abraham
Reuben Abraham

Senior Fellow  / Marron Institute

CEO and Senior Fellow  / IDFC Institute


Reuben Abraham is Senior Fellow with the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management and is CEO of IDFC Foundation and IDFC Institute, a Mumbai based think/do tank. Dr Abraham’s expertise lies in understanding the underlying processes of economic development, with a focus on state and institutional capacity, and the intersection of public policy and politics. Besides, he has spent the last decade working on urbanization related issues. 

He is an Asia Fellow at the Milken Institute in Singapore, a Senior Advisor to Swiss Rein Zurich, and an Honorary Advisor to the New Zealand Asia Foundation.

Before IDFC, he was a professor and Executive Director of the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS) at the top-ranked Indian School of Business (ISB). In 2012, he was named to Wired Magazine’s “Smart List 2012: 50 people who will change the world.” In 2013 and 2016, he was a Fellow at the Legatum Institute in London. He was selected as a Young Global Leader for 2009 by the World Economic Forum, where he currently serves as vice-chair of the South Asia regional board.

He is a member on the boards of India’s Centre for Civil Society; THNK, The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership; Climate Policy Foundation India; the board of trustees of the Commons Project in Nee York and the New Cities Foundation in Montreal; and on the investment committee of Endiya Partners, an Indian deep-tech venture fund. 

For a decade, he served as an independent director at the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) in New York, a global impact investing pioneer. He was also a long-serving member of the International Advisory Board of Unicredit Bank, Italy’s largest bank. He completed his M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York. While at Columbia, he was an Associate Fellow in Geo-Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Public Policy Consortium Fellow, and a CITI-Sloan Telecommunications Fellow.