Director, Kevin Xu Initiative on Science, Technology and Global Development

About Abhilash Mishra

Abhilash Mishra is a scientist, entrepreneur, and educator working on problems at the intersection of technological innovation and social inequality. Abhilash is the founding director of the Xu Initiative on Science, Technology, and Global Development at the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. He is also the founder of EquiTech Futures, a talent incubator and research lab for inclusive innovation.

In his work, Abhilash combines tools and insights from computing, data science, economics, and behavioural science to develop solutions that can make scientific and technological innovation more equitable and inclusive. His policy work includes: using field experiments to test interventions that can improve STEM education outcomes among underserved students in India, proposing a framework for decarbonization using digital agricultural platforms, a proposal for American Science Corps to bolster public trust in science and technology, and developing technology re-skilling programs for youth from underserved backgrounds.

Abhilash helped co-found Science for All (2011-2019), India's first teacher-residency for STEM undergraduates as well as a summer program for mathematically gifted school students from rural India. In his work as a physicist, Abhilash developed data science tools for astronomical surveys and proposed a new method to detect gravitational waves.

Abhilash is trained as a physicist and holds a PhD from Caltech and an MPhys from the University of Oxford. He is the recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship, the Clinton Global Initiative Distinguished Alumni award, the KVPY Fellowship from the Government of India, and the Goldman Sachs Global Leader Award. He serves on the selection committee for the Rhodes Scholarships and as a technical advisor to social impact startups. He grew up in western Odisha and currently lives in Chicago.