India | Our People

Girija Godbole

Water Fund Lead


Girija Godbole, Water Fund Lead, TNC India

Girija Godbole, Water Fund Lead © TNC India

Areas of Expertise

Qualitative research, gender analysis, stakeholder engagement

General Enquiries



Girija Godbole is the Water Fund Lead, who spearheads the project in the Ghod River Basin in Western Ghats in Maharashtra to develop India’s first Water Fund- a governance and finance mechanism- which brings together upstream and downstream stakeholders to protect the source basin using nature-based solutions.

She has over 20 years of experience in the environment and development sector. Before joining NCIS, Girija worked at the Centre for Policy Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology- Bombay where she led a research project on domestic violence in Maharashtra (British Academy grant).  She received a Research Innovation grant from The Nudge Foundation to study agricultural tenancy in western Maharashtra. Previously she worked with WWF, the Centre for Environment Education, University of Cambridge on various environment-related projects. Girija did research assignments for Tata Institute of Social Sciences, World Resources Institute, Winrock India International, and Iris Group International on a range of topics including forest management, ecological restoration, gender, inclusive sanitation, and socio-cultural study of the pastoral community (Dhangar). She has been doing voluntary work for Katkari tribal communities in Maharashtra through Jeevan Sanstha for many years for which she received the Rotary Udyognagari Samaj Bhushan award.   

Girija has academic training in anthropology and geography. She holds an M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and a Masters from Savitribai Phule Pune University. She is a recipient of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, the Robert McNamara Fellowship of the World Bank, the British Chevening Scholarship for Young Indian Environmental Managers, Commonwealth Professional Fellowship. She is also a LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development: International Network) Fellow.

Girija loves to travel, try new cuisines, and meet new people. She is based in Pune.

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