Samir Doshi, Ph.D. was a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab in Partnership with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (2019-2020, 2020-2021).
Samir is the Network Manager for the San Mateo Food System Alliance, a public-private alliance spanning the SF Bay Peninsula that seeks to improve the vibrant and interdependent food system to be more environmentally sustainable, economically resilient and socially just across urban and rural communities.
Samir has worked for the World Wildlife Fund helping to design their international technology and innovation strategy. He also worked for Obama Administration as a Senior Scientist and Deputy Division Chief for the USAID’s Global Development Lab, where he led programming on agile development, responsible data and disaster/emergency feedback systems so programming could be more responsive and adaptive to needs on the ground. Samir has also held teaching and research appointments at the University of Cambridge, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Santa Fe Institute and as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University. His Ph.D. research specialized in Systems Ecology, and his MS and BS focus was in Development Economics and Computer Systems Engineering, respectively. Prior to his academic career, Samir worked as an environmental engineer and humanitarian responder for local organizations and indigenous communities around the world. He has also worked and facilitated extensively on issues of racial, gender and intersectional justice for communities pushing for a Just Transition. Samir sits on the board of the Center for Whole Communities, as well as the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.
Samir Doshi is committed to investing in people through communities and communal relationships. As a Fellow, his work became both external (organizing farm workers around the detrimental and extractive impact of digital agricultural technologies) and internal, recognizing the power of his cohort and creating a circle keeping space unique to the Fellows. This practice, informed by indigenous elders and communities around the world, gave the Fellows a place to gather, support each other, and deepen their relationships. It is a space that activists of color often call for but rarely find, and was especially important for those doing racial justice work through the pandemic.
That commitment to relationship building is found in all of Doshi’s work. He has been expanding the range of farmworker and food sovereignty groups he works with and is excited about the potential of new alliances, land trusts, and other models of power building. Solid growth and recognition of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, an unofficial food arm of the Movement for Black lives, has received funding for land purchases and infrastructure. Doshi notes that the Alliance’s plans go beyond acquiring assets for Black farmers, but to dislodging racist systems of finance and real estate that have long sidelined Black wisdom and leadership.