Ratna Viswanathan is a former civil servant from the 1987 batch of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service. She relinquished a highly coveted career in the Civil Services to join the development sector. Before joining Reach to Teach, she held leadership roles at Oxfam India, VSO, MFIN, UNEP, and UNDP. She also serves as an Independent Woman Director on the Boards of several companies. She believes that the development sector provides the flexibility and agility needed to bring about long-term systemic and transformational change to human lives.

It was about three years ago that she made the transition to work in the field of education, driven by her enduring interest in the way children learn, particularly in low-resourced schools. Her role as an auditor with the C&AG provided her with a substantial understanding of the Government school system. She emphasizes the importance of children being happy to learn, asserting that for children to have equal life chances, they must possess a strong foundation. The twin aspects of a robust foundation and joyful learning fuel her passion for strengthening education.