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 L. Doshi is a Director at the CS Fund working on a Just Transition for communities through an intersectional approach to Rights and Governance, Food and Land Sovereignty, Climate Justice, Worker Justice, Emerging Technologies, and more. Previously, Samir has worked as an organizer and facilitator for movement organizations and communities in food and land sovereignty, farmworker justice, and climate justice in pushing for systems change and a Just Transition through a foundation of racial, gender, and intersectional justice. He worked for Obama Administration as a Senior Scientist and Deputy Division Chief for the US Agency for International Development, where he led the Agency’s programming on agile development, responsible data and disaster/emergency feedback systems so programming could be more responsive and adaptive to community needs on the ground. Samir has 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. Prior to his academic career, Samir worked as an environmental engineer and humanitarian responder for local organizations and indigenous communities around the world in dozens of countries on six continents. Samir’s Ph.D. specialization was in Systems Ecology, with a focus on how communities can develop a regenerative economy by regenerating degraded ecosystems. He has a M.Sc. in Community Development Economics, and a B.Sc. in Computer Systems Engineering.
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.