Dr Ruth Kattumuri
The Commonwealth Secretariat
Senior Director, Economic, Youth and Sustainable Development Directorate
Ruth Kattumuri is Senior Director of the Economic, Youth and Sustainable Development Directorate at the Commonwealth Secretariat. As Senior Director, she provides vision, leadership, and guidance covering areas as diverse as economic policy of small states, debt management, climate change to social development including mainstreaming of gender and youth. Ruth has led the design and development of the Commonwealth universal vulnerability index (UVI) in 2021, which for the first time assesses an understanding vulnerable or resilient developing countries in the context of economic, environmental and socio-political shocks. The Commonwealth UVI clearly highlights the challenges of climate vulnerabilities for our Small Island Developing States. This is with the purpose of enabling equitable access to development finance and climate finance. At the recent Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting in October 2022, Ruth provided thought leadership by contributing a paper on the Fiscal Policy Options for Resilient and Sustainable Development to address emerging short and longer-term vulnerabilities of Small Islands States and Least Development Countries. She also spearheaded the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Health Organization (WHO), committing the two organizations to strengthen collaboration to address public health issues of concern to Commonwealth member states. Ruth has a PhD from the LSE and is a Cambridge Commonwealth Fellow. She has taught, trained, mentored, advised, guided, and nurtured thousands of young people to equip and enhance their talents and capabilities and career development toward attaining their full potential. She has been awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman Award for her contributions.