Welcoming New Members and Transitions

Precision Development (PxD) is delighted to announce that Amrita Ahuja has taken on the role of Board Chair, and the appointment of Jinu Koola to our Board. 

We welcome Amrita Sabnavis as a non-board member of our Finance and Audit Committee, and we are pleased to announce the promotion of Niriksha Shetty to Chief of Programs and the appointment of David Sears as Chief Financial Officer. 

Heiner Baumann, one of our founders, has stepped down from PxD’s board of directors to take up the role of Managing Director of the CASH Coalition. He has become a member of PxD’s advisory board, and joins Daniel Björkegren as Board Member Emeritus. We look forward to continuing to work with him in his new roles.

Changes to the PxD Board

The changes to the PxD board are:

  • Amrita Ahuja takes over as Chair of the PxD Board.
  • Jinu Koola joins the PxD Board – Jinu brings huge experience and expertise, summarized below.
  • Heiner Baumann, one of our founders, steps down from PxD’s board of directors to focus fully on new endeavors,  most of all the Climate Action for Smallholders (CASH) Coalition, where he has taken up the role as Executive Director.  Heiner becomes a member of the advisory board, and Board Member Emeritus.

Heiner Baumann said:
“It has been an immense privilege to work with PxD and build it into what it is today: an ambitious, respected, research-led, evidence-based, and knowledge-generating organization that serves poor people and helps them make more informed and productive decisions. I look forward to continuing to support PxD’s work.” 

Amrita Ahuja, the new Chair of PxD’s Board of Directors, commented on Heiner’s time at PxD:

“We have all learned an enormous amount from Heiner. Heiner has been involved in PxD from the very beginning, and built up the organization from scratch. More than 8 million smallholder farmers have received services that PxD has helped to design and deliver, thanks in large part to Heiner’s hard work. We wish Heiner well in his new venture, and we are delighted that he will continue to work closely with PxD in the future.”

Amrita Ahuja takes over the position of Board Chair from PxD’s Co-Founder, Shawn Cole (who remains on the Board as Treasurer). Amrita has a track record of guiding evidence-based organizations from start-up to scale.  She co-founded Evidence Action, and has played a critical role in its evolution and growth over the last ten years. She also remains a board member or advisor to several organizations in health, education and economic development that seek to massively scale evidence-driven, cost-effective programs. Amrita also has experience as a funder. She leads the Douglas B. Marshall Family Foundation, is a Senior Adviser at CRI Foundation, and advises several other funders in international development.  

To support PxD’s further growth and impact, Jinu Koola has joined PxD’s board of directors. Jinu is currently an Investment Director at ICP Infrastructure.  Before joining ICP, Jinu was a Senior Economist and Head of ESG Analytics at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages Norway’s USD 1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund. Jinu was previously with the U.S. Treasury where she served as the U.S. Financial Attaché to India. She has a broad range of policy and research experience from working with the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, and Innovations for Poverty Action.  

As we continue to grow as an organization, we anticipate that we will be adding additional members to our board over the next year.

A new Finance and Audit Committee member

We are pleased to welcome Amrita Sabnavis, who joins us as a non-board, Finance and Audit Committee member, and who will be working closely with Shawn Cole (Board Treasurer) to advise and make recommendations to the Board on matters concerning the financial operations of the organization and the effectiveness of systems of control or management.

Amrita has a wealth of experience, with nearly 30 years spanning advertising, retail banking, wealth management, private equity, and entrepreneurship. She currently works as a strategy consultant for Mann Deshi Foundation & Mann Deshi Bank.

We are grateful for the support from Dasra and the Women on Board program team, run in partnership between ISDM, Dasra, and Governance Counts, which helped us in the recruitment of Amrita and are leading the way to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.

A new Chief of Programs 

Niriksha Shetty has been promoted to PxD’s Chief of Programs to lead service delivery in PxD’s expanding portfolio that focuses on helping farmers cope with the effects of climate change, reaching more women, and improving agricultural household incomes.

Niriksha has over a decade of experience leading the design and delivery of digital information services to smallholder farmers in India. She helped to set up the first country office of PxD in India in 2016. She led Ama Krushi, PxD’s flagship Build-Operate-Transfer program and has worked closely with government partners to design sustainable and evidence-based services that reach millions of farmers across India.

Owen Barder, CEO of PxD said:

“We are thrilled that Niriksha is taking on this role at this important time as we respond to critical global challenges from Climate Change to increasing conflict and food insecurity.

Niriksha’s ability to work at the intersection of operations, implementation, and innovation, her years of experience working with smallholder farmers, her track record of multi-stakeholder collaborations, and her passion for leveraging technology to improve the lives of the rural poor, make her well-positioned to lead PxD’s programs.” 

A new Chief Financial Officer 

David Sears has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining PxD, David served as J-PAL’s Director of Finance and Operations for over 12 years during a period of considerable growth around the world. David’s skills lie in the areas of financial management, systems development, and funds management for non-profit organizations.