Dr. Madhav Chavan

Co-founder and CEO,

Dr. Madhav Chavan is a co-founder and CEO-President of Pratham, an organization that reaches 3 million primary school age children in India every year.

He acquired a PhD in Chemistry at the Ohio State University in the US in 1983 and returned to India in 1986 after his post-doctoral work at the University of Houston. In 1989, while teaching at the University of Mumbai, he started mass scale work for adult literacy in the slums of Mumbai as a part of the National Literacy Mission in the slums of Mumbai. In 1994, as a result of an initiative of UNICEF in Mumbai, Pratham was set up to address problems of universal primary education in Mumbai. Dr. Chavan has since then led the development of the organization and its programs. Pratham has several mass-scale innovations such as the Annual Status of Education Report in the area of assessment and the Read India movement in the delivery of education for the underprivileged to its credit.

Pratham has been recognized by the Kravis Prize and the Skoll Award for its innovativeness and leadership as a social entrepreneurial organization in the area of education. MadhavChavan was recently awarded the WISE Prize for Education instituted by the Qatar Foundation at the World Innovation Summit for Education, which is equated with a “Nobel for work done in education.”

Dr. Chavan is a creative individual who has anchored television shows, written songs about human rights and women’s rights. He enjoys working out creative ways to educate or train children and youth. He finds time to work on challenges of teaching while balancing his duties as the CEO of a big organization.