Nikhil Dey, was born in Bangalore in 1963. He was educated in India and the USA (12 th std from Thomas Jefferson High School, Fairfax County Virginia USA). He has a Bachelor's Degree from Osmania University and a degree in law from the University of Delhi.

After working briefly with the Kheduth Mazdoor Chetna Sangathana in Madhya Pradesh, he joined Aruna Roy and Shankar Singh in 1987 to go to Devdungri, in Rajsamand District in Rajasthan. All three of them, along with many others, helped found the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) there. Since 1990, Dey has been a full time worker of the MKSS, and has been involved in struggles of the poor for justice, including grass root struggles for land and the payment of minimum wages.

He has been a founding member of people’s platforms like National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), and the Soochana Evam Rozgaar Adhikar Abhiyan (SR Abhiyan), who put together “people’s drafts” of the Right to Information and Employment Guarantee Bills. These platforms have also consistently worked for their effective implementation. Nikhil Dey is also part of the effort by people’s movements to build institutions of participatory democracy, where for instance, people’s platforms for public audits are now being institutionalised by introducing statutory requirements of social audits and public hearings. He has been integrally involved in large state wide campaigns for people’s monitoring of education (Shiksha Ka Sawaal) in Rajasthan in 2016. Currently, the SR Abhiyan is planning a Swasthya Ka Sawaal Campaign in Rajasthan.

He has been a member of the Central Employment Guarantee Council (CEGC) and the State Employment Guarantee Council of Rajasthan. He is a Co-convener of the NCPRI, and was a member of the Steering Committee of the Multilateral Open Government Partnership (OGP).