Lakshmi Venkataraman is a lawyer from India, and a first-year MPP student focusing on the role of food and agricultural policy in reforming industrialized animal agriculture. While at Humane Society International (HSI), she helped some of the world’s largest food companies, including Accor, Marriott, and IKEA, increase their consumption of cage-free, free-range, and alternative protein foods in India. She has also supported the growth of India’s cage-free and alternative protein start-up ecosystem. Her experience lies in bringing public and private sector stakeholders from the fields of environment and climate protection, farmer welfare, public health, and animal welfare together — in creating a sustainable and equitable food system. To this end, she chaired India’s first roundtable on sustainable aquaculture and fish welfare (2020) and co-organized India’s largest alternative protein conference, The Future of Protein Summit (2019). Prior to this, at the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), Lakshmi led Rabies-Free India, partnering with national and state-level governments to provide education and health support for vulnerable populations. At FIAPO, she also designed and led leadership programs for hundreds of grassroots animal welfare activists. 
Originally from Bangalore, India, Lakshmi graduated from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, India in 2016, with a B.A., LL.B (Hons.). After Yale, Lakshmi hopes to work with public and private sector actors to promote the equitable growth of the alternative protein industry.