DR. MIHIR SHAH was invited by India’s Prime Minister to be Member, Planning Commission in June 2009, becoming the youngest person ever to occupy this position. Dr. Shah is working on a new strategy for sustainable water resource management that he has been asked to draft by PM.

He is Co-Founder, Samaj Pragati Sahayog, one of India's largest grass-roots initiatives for water and livelihood security, working with its partners on a million acres of land across 72 of India’s most backward districts. This work shows that watershed development combined with bio-diverse agriculture, other nature-based livelihoods and institution-centred micro-finance, can result in sustained higher incomes and empowered communities.

A Ph.D. in Economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Dr. Shah has combined 20 years of living and working at the grass-roots in tribal central India, with academic research and policy advocacy. He has played a key role in shaping the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.