Janak Padhiar

Innovation and Design Associate, UK CGFI


Janak is an Innovation and Design Associate at the UK Centre for Greening Finance & Investment (CGFI), implementing and developing the innovation strategy to scale up the commercial ecosystem. This includes incubating and accelerating programs, strategic partnerships in private sector innovation, and opportunities for impact to increase the efficiency of capital allocation and financial products in green finance.  

Over the past decade, Janak lived and worked across four continents, particularly in emerging markets. This included working with fintech startup (backed by early-stage venture capital firm, Antler), angel investors for impact startups (deeptech), various non-profit startups in edtech delivery (AR/VR, IVR), grant management, refugee philanthropic campaigns, and tech4good initiatives with organisations like the IKEA Foundation, the World Bank, UNICEF, and the Institute of International Education (IIE).  

Janak holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford where he was a Rotary Scholar in the School of Geography & the Environment. His doctoral studies focused on ways in which Afghan refugees live ‘liveable lives’ despite the precarity of their refugee status in urban India. Through a de-colonial lens, he collaborated with The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and implementing partners on their Sustainable Livelihoods Initiative and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in South Asia to unlock economic, social, and educational opportunities. Janak holds a BA (Hons) in Sociology modified by Environmental Science and International Affairs from Wake Forest University and an MA (Distinction) from Dartmouth College in Globalization Studies as an NIH-Fogarty Global Health Fellow. 

In his spare time, Janak serves as an Advisory Board Member at Soho House & Co, part of the Membership Collective Group (MCG), where he provides expertise, rare insights, and strategies on ESG, social responsibility, and diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I).