Romesh Wadhwani

CSIS Trustee

Romesh Wadhwani is the founder and chairman of SymphonyAI, a fast-growing operating group of leading AI companies that deliver a new generation of advanced AI solutions to transform the enterprise. SymphonyAI companies focus on driving revenue growth and operational excellence for customers in their vertical sectors, including retail, consumer packaged goods, life sciences, payer/provider, manufacturing and process industries, defense, financial services, and media. Prior to founding SymphonyAI, Dr. Wadhwani was the founder and CEO of Symphony Technology Group (STG), a strategic private equity firm that builds great software and technology-enabled services companies. Dr. Wadhwani founded STG in 2002, growing it from a start-up to a company with $ 2.5 billion in combined revenue and 15,000 employees. Dr. Wadhwani was the founder and CEO of Aspect Development Inc., a B2B software firm. Aspect Development was acquired in 2000 for $9.3 billion, the largest software acquisition at the time. Dr. Wadhwani established the Wadhwani Foundation in 2001 to accelerate job creation and economic development in India and other emerging economies through large-scale initiatives in entrepreneurship, innovation, and skilling. Today, the Wadhwani Foundation is active in India and more than 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Wadhwani Advantage, Wadhwani Entrepreneur, and Wadhwani Innovate are three large initiatives for helping hundreds of entrepreneurs start new businesses and grow existing small and medium-sized businesses each year, creating a large number of new jobs. The Wadhwani Advantage initiative allows tens of thousands of students each year to learn employability and soft skills and get placed in high-quality jobs. Dr. Wadhwani and his brother Sunil Wadhwani have established the Wadhwani Institute for AI (WIAI) in Mumbai, a research institute and global hub for developing AI solutions for social good in public health, education, skilling, job creation, and infrastructure. Indian prime minister Modi inaugurated WIAI in 2018. The institute was awarded a Google prize in 2019 for one of its innovative initiatives. In January 2020, the government of India awarded Dr. Wadhwani the Padma Shri honor, the fourth-highest civilian award in the Republic of India. President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Wadhwani to the board of trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center. Dr. Wadhwani is a board member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Gates Buffet Giving Pledge. Dr. Wadhwani holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and a master of science and PhD in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Wadhwani received an honorary doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in August 2018.