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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, iPARTNER INDIA - 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.

 

NANCY SHETTY - HEAD, FINANCE AND HR - UK Office

Nancy has been acting as a pro-bono consultant/accountant for Connect For Change - iPartner's predecessor - since its inception in 2005. She has more than ten years' experience as Manager/PA/Administrator on Projects, Operations and Marketing with PricewaterhouseCoopers, UK. She has coordinated large award competitions and UK education related consortium projects. Combining her skills of finance, project and database management, Nancy brings both efficiency and effectiveness to realising the vision of iPartner India. She has a true passion for the causes that iPartner supports.

 

MEENAL SACHDEV - CONSULTANT - UK and India Office 

Meenal brings to the ipartner team immense experience and knowledge of India as well as the Indian diaspora here in the UK. With a firm belief in investing in communities and people not just monetarily, but also by creating opportunities for people to give their time, skills and talents, Meenal co-founded Connect India, a youth driven effort to inspire young people of Indian origin to play a role in shaping their communities both locally and globally. Her passion for India has grown with her study of Indian History and Economics at SOAS, thereafter an MPhil in Indian Studies at Cambridge as well as studying Indian Art at the British Museum.

She is involved in a range of philanthropic activities in both countries and aspires to create positive change wherever she can. 

 

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.

 

SHANKAR VENKATESWARAN - CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD - India Office

Based in New Delhi, India, Shankar leads SustainAbility’s work in India, anchors its social policy work globally and is a member of SustainAbility’s Management Team. While at SustainAbility, Shankar has advised leading companies in India like ACC and Tata Power on various sustainability issues. He has also worked with Natura (Brazil) and Standard Chartered Bank (UK) on social impact measurement. 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. Prior to joining SustainAbility, 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.

 

DR. SOMA PUJARI - TRUSTEE

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.

 

KRISHNA RAO - TRUSTEE

An investment banker with a leading firm in London and a major supporter of projects in child education, health and the environment. He says "I get involved because I think it is the right thing to do. The influence actually comes from my mother who is involved with a lot of charity work in India. I talk to her and listen to what she is doing and she keeps me abreast of what is going on."