Aruna Roy is a social and political activist. In 1987, she helped to form the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)* with Shanker Singh, Nikhil Dey, and many others. She is one of the founders of the movement for Right to Information in India, which has been credited for the passage of Right to Information laws in several states including the Rajasthan Right to Information Act that passed in 2000.
In 2000, she was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. She was a member of the central government's National Advisory Council from 2004-06, where she played a key role in incorporating strong citizen entitlements in the recently enacted Right to Information and National Rural Employment Guarantee Acts. The President of India conferred upon her the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academia and Management in 2010. She and the MKSS Collective were awarded the Rule of Law Award in the World Justice Forum in Barcelona, Spain in June 2011. Aruna Roy was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine in 2011.
* The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) is a grass roots organization formed in 1990 with its headquarters in a small village in Central Rajasthan. Its name roughly translates into "Organization for the Empowerment of Workers and Peasants." It is one of the growing number of organizations in India which see themselves as part of the non-party political process.
Aruna Roy will be teaching at the School of Public Policy in Spring 2017.