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Nira Desai

Director, CocoaAction
World Cocoa Foundation

Nira Desai serves as the Director for CocoaAction, where she leads WCF’s overarching strategy on cocoa sustainability.  CocoaAction brings the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies together to accelerate sustainability and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.  Nira brings over 13 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, where she has specialized in building strategic communications and managing multi-stakeholder initiatives.  

Before joining WCF, Nira was a sustainability consultant and worked with clients such as Unilever, the Clinton Global Initiative and various non-profits and NGOs in Asia and Africa.  While at Unilever, Nira spearheaded the start of a pre-competitive, cross-industry initiative to reduce global waste.  From 2009-2012, Nira served in President Barack Obama’s administration as a Special Assistant at the Department of Defense.  She was responsible for government-to-government relationships, as well as strategic communications for Asia-Pacific, including public and legislative affairs.  Nira started her career working in communications consulting as a strategic planner and account manager, working with a wide range of private-sector industry clients.      

Nira holds a BA in government and politics and a BS in marketing from the University of Maryland (USA) and an MBA with a concentration in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge (UK).