Nepal Economic Forum (NEF) is a not for profit organization aiming to be Nepal’s premier private sector led economic policy and research institution. Established in 2009, NEF seeks to re-define the economic development discourse in Nepal and positively transform Nepal’s economic and development policies.

NEF’s mission is to engage in research, analysis and information dissemination to ultimately shape national agendas through partnerships. NEF stands out in being able to make significant strides in terms of bringing the private sector perspective as well as engaging with both, public and private sectors in the development discourse. NEF is currently a recipient of the Open Society Foundations’ Think Tank Fund.

Advisory Board

Arnico Panday

Dr. Arnico Panday is the Senior Atmospheric Scientist & Programme Coordinator, Atmosphere Initiative at ICIMOD. He is also a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He received his Bachelor’s degree with high honors in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University, US, a Master’s degree in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US, and a Doctor of Science in Atmospheric Science from MIT. He has conducted postdoctoral research at MIT and at Princeton University’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Since 2011 he has served as advisor and supervisor of the Rwanda Climate Observatory Project, in which MIT and the Government of Rwanda are jointly constructing an atmospheric observatory on the summit of Mt Karisimbi (4,507m). His interests span beyond atmospheric chemistry and physics to cover technologies and policies that reduce emissions to the atmosphere as well as ways to design sustainable cities.

Kul Chandra Gautam

Mr. Kul Chandra Gautam is a distinguished international civil servant, development professional, public policy expert, and human rights activist. He was a United Nations official for over three decades, serving in several important capacities, including as Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.

He has extensive experience in international diplomacy, development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. He serves in the Boards of a number of national and international organizations and public-private partnerships dealing with public health, education, and the well-being of women and children. He got his higher education in international relations and development economics at Dartmouth College and Princeton University in USA.

Shankar Sharma

Dr. Shankar Sharma is Former Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission and a Former Nepali Ambassador to the United States of America. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Hawaii. He has extensive experience working in government, international institutions and economic research. Before joining the National Planning Commission as a Member in 1997, he worked as a Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Nepal; a Senior Economist in the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore; and a Fellow in the East-West Center, Hawaii. He has also worked as a lead consultant to the Constitution Committee on “Distribution of Natural Resources, Economic Rights and Public Revenue” in helping to draft the new Constitution of Nepal.

He has had hands-on experience at the field level, as an international consultant in Laos, Bhutan, and India. He also worked as a consultant expert in a number of national and international agencies including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and UNDP. Dr. Sharma was also an editor to ASEAN Economic Bulletin and a consultant editor to Hydrocarbon Asia, both published from Singapore for about seven years.


Mahendra Krishna Shrestha

Mahendra Krishna Shrestha is the Chairman of Himalayan General Insurance. He has been involved in the financial sector in Nepal for over two decades. He has led and helped shape some leading organizations in insurance and banking; for example starting Himalayan General Insurance Company in 1993 to leading the reform process for Lumbini Bank Ltd.

Over the years he has been involved in a number of additional sectors including hydropower, telecommunications, health and media. In addition to being a part of all major local chambers of commerce, he has also served as president of Nepal Britain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He brings a varied and holistic perspective to the economic development conversation based on his business background as well as a broad range of additional experience such as serving on the Board of Governors of Welham Boys’ School, India and seeing the inextricable connection between education policy and national development. He has a Masters’ degree holder from Delhi School of Economics.


The Team


Sujeev Shakya

Sujeev Shakya, is a Thought Leader in the field of business and economic development. He combines his diverse academic pursuits with extensive experience across various industries and organizations. He writes and speaks regularly on business, economy, leadership and management and is author of the bestseller Unleashing Nepal – Past, Present and Future of the Economy (Penguin), used extensively as a ready reckoner to understand Nepal’s economic paradigm.

Senior Distinguished Fellow

Bibhakar Shakya

Bibhakar Shakya, is a Senior Resource Economist with over 15 years of professional work experience in the USA, Qatar and Nepal. He serves as a lead research principal for overall project management; primarily in the areas of policy analysis/recommendation, economic modeling, impact analysis, risk management, labor policy, worker’s welfare/standard, clean energy, climate change, green growth and sustainable development. He writes policy and research papers extensively and also presents at the international conferences, workshops, and symposia.


Senior Fellow

Chandan Sapkota

Chandan Sapkota is an economist with over eight years of experience in macroeconomic analysis, trade and development. He regularly contributes economic and political analysis focusing on Nepal and India to The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and analytical opinion articles to The Kathmandu Post. Sapkota worked as an economics officer at Asian Development Bank, Nepal Resident Mission; a researcher at South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment; a junior fellow at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and an op-ed columnist for Republica. He also worked as a consultant for Ministry of Commerce & Supplies (Government of Nepal), CIM-GIZ, UNDP, and FAO among others.


NEF Fellows

NEF Fellow

Sambriddhi Acharya

Sambriddhi Acharya is an MA economics graduate from Tribhuvan University. She has a keen interest in economic policies for socio-economic transformation. She has previously worked for government and private agencies mostly as a researcher.


Nepal Economic Forum is headquartered in Kathmandu, Nepal

P.O. Box 7025
Krishna Galli
Lalitpur-3, Nepal