Last week, our hearts were broken by the news of the passing of Manu Bhardwaj. A respected colleague, dedicated public servant, and passionate humanitarian, Manu has been a good friend to NetHope for many years.
We first got to know Manu through his work with the World Economic Forum while he served with the State Department as Senior Advisor for Internet and Technology under Secretary of State John Kerry. He remained in government services during all eight years of the Obama administration. He accomplished so much in his professional life, working in all three branches of the U.S. government, and was one of the kindest, smartest, most promising public servants NetHope ever had the pleasure to work with.
Following his tenure with the government, Manu went on to work with the Mastercard Foundation, where he led their work on digital financial inclusion.
Manu quickly became one of our “go to” experts on data protection and cybersecurity, helping advise on these topics in our humanitarian work as we addressed digital transformation of nonprofits.
He was a font of information on a wide range of topics and it was always a pleasure to get his perspective on what was happening in Washington, D.C. He remained thoughtful and optimistic in his outlook, no matter what was occurring.
As smart and experienced as Manu was, he never let his professional accomplishments cloud his humanity. He was always curious about how he could directly help others or inspire others to do so. Always quick with a smile and a kind word, he could be serious and focused, but also funny and engaging. Though self-deprecating and humble, Manu believed that through dialogue, collaboration, and hard work, he could help benefit millions who had been historically underserved.
Manu will be missed by the NetHope family for his depth of knowledge, charismatic personality, but mostly for his compassionate heart.