Washington Business Journal Names Ami Thakkar as a Recipient of ‘Women Who Mean Business’ Award

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. —Ami Thakkar, senior director of governance and youth economic opportunities at RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute, has been awarded a Washington Business Journal ‘Women Who Mean Business’ Award. The award honors the region’s most influential businesswomen.

Thakkar was recognized for her career in international development, leadership roles and philanthropic work.

“During her career, Ami has empowered her team and built talent and collaborated in ways that promote inclusivity,” said Nicole Barnes, senior vice president of sustainable growth and resilience at RTI. “She has a proven 20+ year track record of driving global change and producing results for children, young people, women and communities around the world.”

Thakkar was promoted to a division leadership position at RTI in 2019, joining RTI’s International Development Group as one of their youngest leaders. She is responsible for managing a 12-person team of technical experts, project managers, business development advisors and researchers working across a range of practice areas related to integrated governance, political economy analysis, and youth workforce development.

She has had the opportunity to work in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America on projects and initiatives alongside local partners, stakeholders, and clients in an effort to help implement scalable and sustainable solutions. Most recently, she led a business strategy to reestablish RTI’s positioning in governance.

Thakkar’s role also involves serving as the executive sponsor and key contributor for many cross-IDG initiatives at RTI. These initiatives are focused on change management, transforming culture, improving project quality, and promoting racial justice and equity.

Thakkar joined RTI 8 years ago, after having returned to the U.S. from Southeast Asia, where she served as the gender, youth, and skills advisor to the World Bank Country Office in Lao P.D.R. In this role, she provided technical support to the Adolescent Girls Initiative – a young women’s entrepreneurship and employment project. She has also led global initiatives at both the International Youth Foundation and U.S. Department of Labor.

Thakkar is dedicated to supporting philanthropic causes including the Avon Breast Cancer annual walks, Art Therapy for Children with Cancer at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and the D.C. Central Kitchen. She was proud to serve as a fellowship judge for Echoing Green, a nonprofit organization that works to discover and invest in emerging social entrepreneurs globally.

The award winners were honored on October 7 at the Washington Business Journal’s 18th Annual ‘Women Who Mean Business Award’ ceremony.

To learn more about Thakkar and the award, please click here.