John Samuel has three decades of experience and expertise in areas of capacity development, strategic communication & advocacy, public policy, social research, institution building and governance. He combines leadership and international consulting experiences at the global level with a grassroots connect through social mobilization expertise in India. He has conducted capacity development sessions for nearly 8000 people across 60 countries.
Till recently he served as the Head of Global Program on Governance Assessments and Global Democratic Governance Advisor at UNDP Headquarters, New York and UNDP Oslo Governance Centre. He was earlier the International Director of ActionAid, based in Bangkok, leading its global thematic work on just and democratic governance and heading the Asia-Pacific region. His visionary spirit has driven him to establish many advocacy and research organizations like Centre for Communication and Development Studies (CCDS), Open-space network of young people, Asian Media Forum, International Social Watch and Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP). John helped establish the National Centre for Advocacy (NCAS) and was Chief Executive Officer for a several years. A pioneer in the area of budget accountability, he established the Centre for Budget & Governance Accountability (CBGA) in Delhi.
John has a multi-disciplinary academic background, with an under graduation degree in Science, Masters in Social Sciences and English Literature, and Pre Phd in Socio-Linguistics. A visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and at the Advocacy Institute, Washington DC, he attended the International Summer School in Economics and Public Policy at the University of Oslo. He has published extensively on issues pertaining to people-centred advocacy, democratic governance and civil society. He is currently the President of Bodhigram Community College in Kerala and serves on the boards of several national and international organizations.