Dr Ganesan Balachander is an extremely well-known personality in the social sector. In his more than three decades of professional experience, he has a wealth of experience in the fields of environment conservation and biodiversity, its peculiar challenges, addressing the ecological and livelihood needs associated with biodiversity and developing young leaders who will lead the march towards a sustainable society. His work has taken him across the world – China, Nepal, Thailand, Manila, Washington and several other countries. Presently, as Director, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore. He isresponsible for strategy development and priority setting, resource mobilization and communications.
Earlier, as Representative for South Asia, The Ford Foundation, New Delhi for six years until 2008, Mr Balachander has provided strategic direction and leadership to the Foundation’s grant making in various fields of development and managed the largest overseas office of the Foundation.
Before his sterling work in the field of conservation, he has held senior positions in the banking and finance sector with Citibank and the Marine Midland Bank (HSBC) Group in New York, USA and the Standard Chartered in Chennai, India. Dr Balachander is also Consortium Board member, CGIAR, headquartered in Montpellier, France.
Recipient of multiple fellowships, grants and awards from reputed international organisations, he was elected member of IUCN's Medicinal Plant Specialist Group in 1998 and awarded the Distinguished Alumni award from Rutgers University, New Jersey in 2005. He was also awarded the Harvard University's Charles Bullard Fellowship in Forest Research and Rutgers University's Louis Bevier Fellowship.