Jaitly Leaving Knight Foundation to Lead Twitter’s Efforts In India

Xconomist Rishi Jaitly, who has led the Knight Foundation‘s efforts in Detroit for nearly the past two years, announced yesterday in an email to local grantees that he’s leaving Knight to take a job leading Twitter‘s efforts in India. This represents a return to big tech companies—prior to taking the position at Knight, Jaitly worked as head of government affairs and public-private partnerships for Google in South Asia.

In a post on the Knight Foundation’s blog, Jaitly talked about what his role in shaping community philanthropy in the city has meant to him. “Fellow Detroiters supported my civic ideas in ways I’d never experienced before,” he wrote. “I wondered, What if Knight Foundation could draw on its strengths to rally more of Detroit’s individuals and institutions around newcomers and longstanding residents who are pursuing a new kind of social entrepreneurship?”

Because they often incorporate tech in new and innovative ways, Xconomy has covered several initiatives that have received Knight’s support during Jaitly’s tenure, including Detroit4Detroit, Kiva Detroit, Black Male Engagement, Hatch Detroit, and LocalData.

“I loved working with Rishi in because he uses his intellect to build bridges of opportunity between people and their aspirations for their communities,” Trabian Shorters, Knight’s vice president for communities, said in a statement. “He galvanized Knight’s focus on the social entrepreneurship movement in Detroit. Good people like him are hard to find—but we’re looking.” (To see the job posting, click here.)

Jaitly’s last day at the Knight Foundation is Oct. 30. Jaitly wrote in his email that he will continue to be engaged with Michigan Corps, the nonprofit he and his wife founded to allow Michigan’s expats to help make a difference in their home state. “In my new role, I’m especially excited to draw on the lessons I’ve learned [in Detroit] in using the web to empower people with authentic civic voice and connectivity,” he said.

As for who will fill Jaitly’s rather large shoes at Knight, Shorters had this to say: “If you want a job at a foundation then this role probably isn’t right for you. If you want to use what you know about success in financial, business, start-up, engineering, or technology sectors and apply it to much more meaningful and challenging opportunities, then get in touch with us.”

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