Jessica Seddon (View C.V | View Bio)
Founder & Managing Director

Dr Jessica Seddon is the Founder of Okapi, an India-based strategy group focused on institutional design for social innovation. Okapi is incubated by IIT Madras and works with government, corporate, and philanthropic clients to understand and shape the ecosystems around complex social and environmental challenges. Dr. Seddon is also a Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute and Adjunct Faculty at IIT Madras, where she works on institutional design for infrastructure governance, pollution mitigation, risk management and other aspects of a transition to a more sustainable relationship with the environment. She is on the advisory boards of the Wilderhill Global Clean Energy Index (NEX), Prakti Design Labs and Vidyartha. Prior to founding Okapi, Dr. Seddon served as Head of Research at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (Bangalore), Director of the Centre for Development Finance at IFMR, Chennai, and Assistant Professor, UC San Diego. She was also a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Seddon earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and her B.A. from Harvard University.
Current Projects

Okapi has launched a series of futures research reports focused on understanding how policy, technology, social and economic change, and other developments intertwined to affect opportunities for entrepreneurs in India. The first report, Health Horizons 2021, written in collaboration with the Villgro Innovations Foundation, the IIT Madras Health Technology Innovation Centre, and CIRM Design Labs… Read more »

Development finance – the conversion of finance into infrastructure and services to contribute to environmentally and sustainable opportunities – is a significant political and administrative challenge anywhere, and even more so for a country as large and socio-economically diverse as India. Much of my work on political economy of India has been focused on understanding… Read more »

Air pollution’s effects on public health, crop yields, and regional and global climate change are increasingly well documented, as is the extent of long-range trans-boundary transport of pollutants. Air quality management has traditionally been regarded as a local environmental and public issue challenge, but it is increasingly clear that it requires a more regionally and… Read more »

Information technology has revolutionized our ability to extract patterns from digitized data and use these to monitor everything from our own vital statistics to patterns of public expenditure and development progress. But what happens when the data and the actual phenomenon they represent are disjunct? Or when the data simply do not document economic and… Read more »