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The Rockefeller Foundation Names Tariq Khokhar Managing Director and Senior Data Scientist

Former Senior Data Scientist and Global Data Editor at the World Bank, Khokhar established the World Bank’s Data Innovation Fund

NEW YORK – The Rockefeller Foundation today announced that Tariq Khokhar has been named Managing Director and Senior Data Scientist for the Foundation. Mr. Khokhar comes to the Foundation after most recently serving as Senior Data Scientist and Global Data Editor at the World Bank, where he established the World Bank’s Data Innovation Fund, which attracted more than 1,000 applicants and led to over $7 million of investment in early-stage and scale-up projects to improve the way data are produced, managed, and financed for low-and-middle-income countries.

“Tariq brings a unique combination of expertise in data and tech, longstanding knowledge of global development, and the ability to communicate about both in engaging ways,” said Zia Khan, Vice President for Innovation at The Rockefeller Foundation. “His leadership will help realize The Rockefeller Foundation’s vision for how data and technology can be transformational in improving people’s well-being. He has an excellent track-record building partnerships across sectors so very different kinds of organization can tackle big challenges together.”

As Managing Director and Senior Data Scientist as part of the Foundation’s Innovation Team, Mr. Khokhar will steer the work to build the Foundation’s technological capabilities and innovation projects.

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at The Rockefeller Foundation at an exciting time for the organization and the sector as a whole,” Mr. Khokhar says. “I’m a mathematician and computer scientist by training and a pragmatic optimist by nature. I’ve spent my career working in start-ups and large organizations using technology, data analysis, and partnerships to solve development problems in over 30 low and middle-income countries.”

In his work at the World Bank, Mr. Khokhar also worked as the Open Data Evangelist and grew the organization’s Open Data Initiative, transforming the way data and evidence are shared within the World Bank. As the Secretary to the Open Data Working Group, he made it possible for the World Bank’s work to be shared at over 200 international events across sectors, and reach hundreds-of-thousands of people.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Khokhar developed technical architecture and data standards for the International Aid Transparency Initiative, and co-founded Aptivate, a digital agency which works across the mobile banking, telecommunications, education, and healthcare sectors. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge.

“I have long considered Tariq a leader in Data Science,” said Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, VP of Social Impact at Satellogic and former Chief Scientist at Mapbox. “He has a strong technical capacity to process data into thoughtful insights, but most importantly he as an incredible capacity to effectively communicate them to all audiences.”

“I am excited to see Tariq join the Rockefeller Foundation,” said Claire Melamed, CEO of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. “He brings passion, experience and expertise in data and technology to the development sector. He takes smart risks, and has championed support and financing for innovations in the way data are acquired, managed and used. Tariq is a natural communicator, and can explain technical ideas simply, bringing groups into the conversation who otherwise would be excluded. He has been a valued partner in our mission to harness the power of the data revolution to achieve the SDGs, and his new appointment is welcome news.”

Mr. Khokhar began his position on Monday, September 10.

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Contact Info: The Rockefeller Foundation: Matt Herrick,

About The Rockefeller Foundation

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot – or will not. For more information, please visit