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Vijay Krishnarayan by Matthew Andrews 2019

Vijay served two terms at the head of the Commonwealth's Agency for civil society - the Commonwealth Foundation. During his seven-year tenure from 2012-2019, he transformed the organisation into one of the Commonwealth's most respected inter-governmental bodies. He developed a diverse team, focussed on strengthening peoples' participation in policy-making processes. He secured support for this mission from the Commonwealth member states through their Ministers and senior officials.

Under his leadership, the organisation established a clear programme, framed within the Sustainable Development Goals and focused on SDG16 with an emphasis on inclusion. This placed gender equality at the heart of the organisation's mission with participatory governance and gender as a central theme. Vijay also established the Commonwealth Foundation as having a recognised role in bringing civic voiced to Commonwealth political processes. During his time at the Foundation, civil society made effective representations to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings in 2013 (Colombo), 2015 (Valletta) and 2018 (London).


He served as the Foundation's Deputy Director from 2006-2012. In this capacity, he had direct responsibility for all aspects of the organisation's programmes and grant management. Prior to joining the Commonwealth system, he was based in the Caribbean (Belize, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago). He spent ten years working for non-governmental organisations, bringing stakeholders together to reconcile human development and environmental conservation imperatives in the region.


Vijay is an experienced facilitator adept at brokering dialogue between sectors. He is a specialist in strategy development, change management and stakeholder engagement.


More voices for a fairer world.

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