Nirjan Rai is a development researcher with a robust background in public policy and economic development. Based in Lalitpur, Nepal, Nirjan currently serves as an Advisor at PEI, where he leads practice-oriented research projects focusing on political economy and quality control across various sectors including water, energy, and natural resource management. Previously, as the Executive Director at both PEI and Niti Foundation, he spearheaded program design, business development, and strategic partnerships, significantly contributing to regional connectivity initiatives and infrastructure diplomacy in South Asia.

Nirjan’s career is distinguished by his pivotal roles in designing, securing, and supervising major international projects funded by prestigious bodies such as USAID, the UK Government’s FCDO, and the International Development Research Center. His work encompasses a wide range of critical issues from renewable energy and federalism implementation in Nepal to transboundary water governance and economic diplomacy across Asia. With a Master’s in Public Policy from George Mason University, Nirjan’s expertise is complemented by his scholarly contributions to the field, including studies on Nepal’s electricity sector and regional economic analyses.

Recognized as a The Asia Foundation Development Fellow in 2015, Nirjan is committed to enhancing policy processes and civic engagement through evidence-based research and collaborative partnerships. His professional journey also includes significant stints at the Asian Development Bank and The Asia Foundation in Nepal, where he managed key programs aimed at strengthening governance and promoting sustainable economic policies.