Smita Singh was the founding director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Global Development Program. While she was director, the Program carried out extensive international grant making and started several new initiatives, including the Think Tank Initiative; the Transparency and Accountability Initiative; and the partnership for Quality Education in Developing Countries. Ms. Singh helped create the International Initiative in Impact Evaluation (3ie), a new international agency devoted to improving the measurement of results in development interventions. She also initiated the Foundation’s efforts to reform development assistance policy and practices which included seeding the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) and the International Aid Transparency Initiative. Before joining the Foundation, Ms. Singh was a scholar at the Harvard Academy of International and Area Studies.
Her research interests focus on the comparative political economy of developing countries, and she has lived and worked in several countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She has also worked for the Commission on National and Community Service (now called the Corporation for National Service) where she was responsible for developing the commission’s higher education initiatives and funding strategies for dispersing grants to community service and service-learning projects at over 200 colleges and universities. Before joining the commission, Ms. Singh worked at ABC News “Nightline” and prior to that, with community-based women’s organizations in India. Ms. Singh sits on the governing boards of Oxfam America, Revenue Watch Institute, Twaweza and the Center for Global Development. She is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.