Co-Founder PAFI

Advisor, Independent Director, Ombudsperson, Professor of Practice

Ajay Khanna

Ajay is a leader in Strategy, Public Policy & Public Affairs, Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement, with a demonstrated history of working across sectors, including social economy. A lawyer by education, he is an experienced Advisor, Board member, Ombudsperson & Professor of Practice with a career span of over 40 years. With strong global connections, he focuses on ethical and value-based leadership and is a regular contributor on topical subjects in major newspapers. Based in New Delhi & Washington DC, amongst other things, he focuses on promoting India – USA economic & business cooperation helping US & Indian companies.

He co-founded Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI) in 2008. PAFI aims at aligning business, society and government on long term priorities; fostering trust across all stakeholders; collaboratively developing smart and relevant policies,proposals and processes that foster innovation and rely on evidence-based research and promotes capacity building to navigate change within the context and complexity of India. He has chaired PAFI’s flagship Annual Forum since its inception in 2014.

He is Group Strategic Advisor & Global Ombudsperson of Jubilant Bhartia Group since 2009. As an Ombudsperson, he is an impartial, confidential andindependent resource to help stakeholders resolve workplace or business-related issues and build a corporate culture based on values, ethics and compliance.

He is a Director on the Board of Aakash Educational Services Limited, a leading educational institution in India that provides comprehensive test preparatory coaching services to students preparing for medical & engineering entrance exams, school/board exams, competitive scholarship exams.

Ajay is an expert member of the Grievances Redressal Board (GRB) of Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council, an officially recognized, independent self-regulatory body for online curated content providers (OCCPs). It has been set up under the aegis of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). DPCGC is registered by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting as a Level-II Self-Regulatory Body for publishers of online curated content, under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

He is an Advisor to Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Established in 2004, is a not-for-profit industry body and the country's only organization representing the digital services industry with over 500 Indian and multinational corporations as its members, which include established companies in diverse sectors of the digital ecosystem as well as start-ups. IAMAI represents varied sectors such as digital advertising, digital entertainment, traveltech, online gaming, digital payments, fintech, digital commerce, edtech, healthtech, agritech, big data, ML, AI & IoT, AR/ VR, logistics-tech and so on.

He has been associated with the World Economic Forumfor over three decades & was the Vice Chair of its Regional Strategy Group (RSG). He is a regular participant at its annual meeting in Davos for over 35 years & leads the social entrepreneur of the year award initiative of the Schwab foundation & Jubilant Bhartia Foundation in India since its inception in 2009. He is currently a member of the WEF - Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship.

He is also a Global Advisor to the Catalyst 2030- a global movement & a network of leading social entrepreneurs & innovators, academics and funders who believe in collective action & bold, new strategies to achieve the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. He has been a member of several high-level Government delegations, committees and task forces.

Ajay is Professor of Practice & Advisor- Careers with Indian School of Public Policy (ISPP). Founded on the commitment to world-class faculty, extensive industry linkages and innovative approach towards design and management of policy, ISPP aims to transform the art of policymaking. He is also an Adjunct Professor at The Takshashila Institution, Bengaluru. He is Senior Advisor with The Convergence Foundation, dedicated to building foundations in strategic areas of development in India. He is also a member of Advisory Board of SaveLife Foundation & Pahle India foundation.

He was founding Chief Executive Officer (2002-2006) of India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), a joint initiative of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and CII, a unique public private Partnership initiative to Promote, Project & Position India’s growth story globally. IBEF, under his leadership, led the “India Everywhere” campaign at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2006, amongst several other high profile global initiatives. He was Partner with Accenture India (2008-2009) & before that, he spent twenty-seven years with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as deputy director general & held several national & global positions from 1981 to 2008.

Ajay has a Degree in Law from University of Delhi and is an alumni of the Shriram College of Commerce. He is married to Renu, a lawyer and a social worker. Their children - Dr Surbhi and Dr Ankur are both medical practitioners in the USA.