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BINA RANI - FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE - UK and India Office

Bina Rani has worked for over 20 years in the voluntary sector in India, Kenya and the UK and was instrumental in setting up the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in India in 1997. She then moved to the UK, where she worked with CAF in London for over six years and left to start up the Asian Foundation for Philanthropy and in 2006 to set up Connect for Change. She then secured funding from CAF to conduct the first ever in-depth research on the ‘motivations and giving patterns’ of the Asian diaspora in the UK – an abridged version appears on the CAF Research website. Her impressive achievements include her work with Dalits, children in the sex trade, bonded labourers in Karnataka, and working with disabled youth in Kenya in the late 1990s. She has worked, consulted with and volunteered for a plethora of organisations over the years. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Kusuma Trust and the Pakhar Foundation. Bina is a leading authority on Asian philanthropy and diaspora fundraising and has spoken at various international conferences and forums on these issues. She has vast experience of advising individuals, families, and corporations on charitable giving. She is someone who intuitively understands the needs of the donor and with her in-depth knowledge and hands-on approach she is able to profile some of the most worthwhile causes in India. Throughout her career, Bina has proven her commitment to both the people in the field and to those who wish to have a more genuine link with the projects they donate to. iPartner India offers the Asian diaspora in the UK a chance to get involved and contribute to creating a more just and equal society in India.

 

SUMITRA MISHRA - COUNTRY DIRECTOR - India Office

Sumitra joins the iPartner team at New Delhi and brings with her a wealth of experience from the Indian civil society sector. Over the last 15 years she has worked across a range of skills related to programmes development, advocacy, strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation. In her previous stint with Sense International (India) as the Deputy Director – Programmes, Sumitra was instrumental in establishing the programmes and advocacy strategy of the organisation. She joined the organisation at a time when it was beginning to set itself up in India and went on to establish it as an organisation with an enviable programme strategy characterised by a community embedded, people focussed and cost effective approach. She has worked with some of the most vulnerable populations especially children and adults with disabilities and their family members. She has a degree in disability and has done her masters in education. Sumitra’s knowledge from extensive travel to the remotest corners of the country, directly reaching out to stakeholders,  people management skills and experience in start-up enterprises gives her role within the iPartner team a perfect fit. 

 

SARAH KUEHNE - ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR - UK Office

Sarah Kuehne joined iPartner following four successful years coordinating and managing fundraising events for The Funding Network, which has been described as the UK's first public, open giving circle. It provides a marketplace for charities and donors passionate about social change. Sarah was pivotal in transforming the organization which has raised over £2m for 350 projects to date. She was the visionary leader and hands on coordinator for a youth spin-off of the organisation. Its aim was to bring awareness to the next generation of givers and capitalize on the enthusiasm and philanthropy within this sector. The initiative was recognised at the prestigious national Third Sector Excellence Awards Ceremony scooping 'Best Fundraising Event' in 2008. Sarah boasts a Masters degree in Fine Art Media and she uses her creative talent and new media skills to bring together the donors and the inspirational work being done by charities, creating a more personal relationship between giver and receiver. Born in England and educated in Germany, New York and London, as well as frequent, extended stays in both in China and India, Sarah comes with an international background and an inspiring world vision.


GAYATHRI RAJARATHINAM - COMMUNICATIONS & FUNDRAISING - India Office

Gayathri uses her excellent writing, masters degree from London School of Economics and her relationship building skills to contribute to iPartner’s on-going communications and fundraising activities, working to increase visibility for iPartner in India. With her ability to connect with varying audiences through different channels and her digital suaveness, she aspires to take iPartner’s communications and fundraising in the Indian philanthropy scene to the next level.

 

PAYAL GADHIOK - PROGRAMMES & PARTNERSHIPS - India Office 

Payal received a Masters Degree in Social work from Delhi School of Social Work and has richexperience of more than 7 years in various facets of Social Development. She has worked with many INGOs, NGOs and CSR Foundations in Delhi, through which she has developed skills in project planning and design, Programme implementation and management, Advocacy & Networking.

 

RAJNI SHARMA - FINANCE & OPERATIONS  - India & UK Office 

Rajni is a trained finance professional having over 25 years of experience working within the financial and commercial sectors in India.  She has immense understanding of administration, liasioning, accounting and auditing of both MNCs and NGOs. Combining her skills of finance, operations and database management, she brings both efficiency and effectiveness to realising the vision of iPartner India. She has a true passion for the causes that iPartner supports. 

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RICHARD HAWKES - CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD - UK Office

Richard is Chief Executive of SCOPE, one of Britain's best-known disabilities charity. Previously he was International Programme Director of Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and prior to that he was the founding Director of Sense International. Throughout his career he has worked for a variety of national and international organisations, including the United Nations. He is Chairman of the Board of BOND, the umbrella body for UK based international NGOs and frequently represents UK NGOs at ministerial level and within the European Union. He is also a member of the Beneficiary Board of the Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust and has acted as an adviser to a number of UK charities wishing to develop their international work.

 

SANJAY PATRA - CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD - India Office

Mr. Sanjay Patra is a Chartered Accountant by qualification & has been deeply involved in the development sector in India since 25 years. Mr. Patra’s contribution over the years has transcended from issue to issue including social audit, good governance practices, uniform reporting practices, capacity building of voluntary organizations in India, South Asia and beyond. He firmly believes in the values of transparency & accountability and its importance in promoting development effectiveness. 

 

ANANT SHAH - TRUSTEE - UK Office

Mr Anant Shah jointly founded the MeghrajGroup, with his brother, Vipin, in 1973. His mainresponsibility was running the bankingoperations of the Group. After retiring fromactive involvement in business in 2000, he hasdevoted most of his time to charitable andsocial causes in the UK, India and Kenya.

 

DR. SOMA PUJARI - TRUSTEE - UK Office

Dr. Soma Pujari is a doctor by profession, but is now dedicating her time to philanthropy. Soma's strong sense of social responsibility has inspired her to make a real difference in changing the fortunes of society's underprivileged. Soma set up her own charitable foundation, the Kusuma Trust, which funds a broad range of projects. Its focus and main area of work is India where it deals with issues surrounding education and children at risk. Soma not only founded this very successful trust, she also continues to be involved with its activities and provides strategic direction as well as guidance and support to her team. Soma is also lending her considerable expertise to other organizations and iPartner India considers itself very fortunate to have her on board.

 

SHANKAR VENKATESWARAN - TRUSTEE - India Office

Based in New Delhi, India, Shankar is the current chief of Tata Sustainability Group. Before joining Tata Group, Shankar was with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India as director, Sustainability. A mechanical engineer from IIT Madras and an MBA graduate from IIM Calcutta, he has over 31 years of experience of working in the corporate and development sectors. Shankar spent the initial 12 years of his career with the management consulting division of A F Ferguson & Co. (now part of Deloitte) where he advised clients on a range of business issues. As one of the leading thinkers and speakers in the areas of sustainability and corporate responsibility, Shankar has advised leading companies in India like ACC and Tata Power. He has also worked with SustainAbility (India), Natura (Brazil) and Standard Chartered Bank (UK). He established the India operations of the American India Foundation as its Executive Director – India, and was the first Chief Executive of Partners in Change, a pioneering Indian NGO working on Corporate Responsibility.

 

SHOBA MATHAI - TRUSTEE - India Office

Shoba Mathai is the Chief Officer – Product Development, at Oriental Software, Bangalore and is one of the promoter-Directors of the company. She leads the product development activities of the Engineering Products Division. She has worked in collaboration with leading S&T Institutions in Bangalore, which has resulted in the development of path-breaking technologies that are used in the manufacturing sector.

She has led teams providing a range of services for the global NGO sector – ActionAid, Oxfam, CARE, the ECB Project. In this connection, she has worked with teams in U.K., Italy, Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia. Shoba continues to maintain an active interest and involvement in this sector. She holds a Masters degree in Science (Mathematics) from Bangalore University and a certificate in Software Engineering from a leading Institute in Bangalore.