Tara Ramanathan

Tara Ramanathan

Director, Clean Energy, Nexleaf Analytics

Currently based in: Los Angeles, USA

MBA (2018)

Talk to me about: Non-profit growth and strategy, Lean product Development, Anti-racist international aid, Leadership Development 

As Director of Clean Energy, Tara Ramanathan shapes Nexleaf’s strategy, growth, and direction for data-driven engagement in the clean energy sector. With more than 15 years of experience working with vulnerable populations, Tara always remains focused on her North Star: the women who cook. She advocates globally for responsible scale, so that only the best solutions are funded and distributed. This focus ensures that Nexleaf’s program work never adds pain to women’s lives, and only serves to make their lives better. Tara has been a featured speaker at COP22 Climate Change talks, with the World Health Organization, and the Vatican.

Prior to joining Nexleaf in 2014, Tara gained perspective on international development work through her experiences in India. She taught in one of Delhi’s biggest slums which led her to study abroad in Delhi as an undergraduate, and later work at a research institution on urban poverty. Tara learned to approach her work in low-income contexts with openness and curiosity, always asking more questions than giving answers and being honest about her shortcomings. As a student activist, Tara pushed for University of California to divest from Darfur during the genocide, and this experience shaped her worldview for social impact: that it’s crucial not just to have a powerful message, but to engage in strategic actions that achieve concrete outcomes.

Tara left Nexleaf in 2017 and earned her MBA from Oxford University, with a focus on scaling clean cooking for the poorest 3 billion people on Earth. After surveying all 300+ of her classmates and investigating other methods of driving change, Tara ultimately decided to return to Nexleaf to continue working on the data-centered and rapid iteration model for impact.


If you would like to be put in touch with Tara, please contact Annabelle at development@stx.ox.ac.uk