Board of trustees and advisory board

Mr. Tarun Das – Chairman
Former Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

Mr Tarun Das has spent his professional career in the development and promotion of Indian Industry. Starting in November 1963 with the predecessor body of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) he was the Director General and Chief Executive of CII from April 1967 to May 2004 and Chief Mentor from June 2004 to October 2009. His leadership of the organization over three decades has led to strengthening business and strategic ties between India and the world.

Mr Das studied at the University of Calcutta and Manchester University. He is a recipient of honoris causa degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) from the university of Warwick.

He is member of the Track II Strategic Dialogues between India and USA, Japan, China, Singapore, Israel and Turkey. He is Co-chair of US-India Strategic Dialogue, US-India-Japan Strategic Dialogue, India–Japan Strategic Dialogue, India-Israel Forum.

Mr Das is currently associated with several institutions. These include Council on Energy Environment and Water (CEEW), Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), World Wildlife Fund India (WWFI), CII – Triveni Water Institute, Institute of Economic Growth (IES), Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST), Indian Institute of Management, Shillong (IIMS), Ananta Aspen Centre, Ananta Centre and Aspen Institute, USA.

He has published a book, Crossing Frontiers: The Journey of Building CII, which is an account of his years in CII.

He was awarded the civilian honor of Padma Bhushan in 2006 by the Government of India for his contributions to Indian trade and industry.

Dr. S. K Noordeen – Member
Chairman, Leprosy Elimination Alliance (LEA) and Former Director (Leprosy) WHO, Geneva

Dr. Noordeen is a medical doctor and he graduated from Universities of Madras (MBBS 1955), Calcutta (DPH 1958) and Michigan (MPH 1963).

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s example of addressing the suffering of leprosy patients, Dr Noordeen started his career in 1958 at the Central Leprosy Teaching and Research Institute, Chengelput, Tamil Nadu – initially in rural leprosy service, and later in leprosy research activities, covering clinical trials, epidemiology, and preventive methods involving preventive chemotherapy and vaccination with BCG.

Based on his research contributions, Dr Noordeen was invited to join the World Health Organization in Geneva in 1979 as a research coordinator and went on to become the WHO Director of Global Leprosy Elimination Programme, a position from which position he retired in 1998.

His scientific contributions include over 120 papers in scientific journals and 6 chapters in text books. The most important contributions include the promotion and wide spread implementation of Multi Drug Therapy (MDT) and the launch and promotion of the WHO’s global effort towards elimination of leprosy as a public health problem. Over the years this has resulted in the reduction of global burden of leprosy by as much as 95 %.

Since retirement Dr Noordeen has been providing advisory support at global, regional and country levels to the WHO, to Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation, The Nippon Foundation and Ministry of Health, Government of India. He has served as President of the International Leprosy Association, and President of the International Leprosy Union. He has been serving as Chairman of the Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation since 2006.

Dr. Noordeen was awarded Padma Shri in 2009, and earlier the International Gandhi Award in 1996

Syeda-Imam-BilgramiMrs Syeda Imam Bilgrami – Member
Consultant, Creative Communications in many areas, including Education, Social Welfare, Communal Harmony, and Nation-building

Mrs Imam is an author, editor, eminent and award-winning communications professional in public service, marketing and advertising. She has had an outstanding career in the private sector, where she has worked as an Executive Creative Director for the sub-continent of India’s largest advertising agency by far J. Walter Thomspon and also helped launch and build Contract India, JWT’s sister ad agency.

The Government of India invited her to be Member to National Commission for Minorities, (NCM). Thereafter she has been appointed in the Ministry of External Affairs as Member, National Haj Committee of India in March 2013.

Mrs Imam is on the Board of Ananta Aspen Centre, Bharti Foundation, World Health Partners, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, Rumi Foundation, The Indian School, NIIT University, Neemrana and The Women’s Empowerment Committee, CII.

As an author she has been published by Penguin, Macmillan, Roli Books. Her published books are ‘The Untold Charminar’ which describes the culture of Hyderabad: ‘Writings on Hyderabad’ for Penguin. ‘The Making of Advertising’ for MacMillan’s, ‘The Positive Side’ (in Aid for the Aids Cause) for Modicare Foundation. She is currently completing a book of Monographs for Roli Books.

Mrs Imam has received many awards for both her literary contributions as well as social activities. Many of her works fetched her top honours at film festivals, i.e. Cannes and New York. As an advertising professional, she is a recipient of national and international awards including the “Indira Super Achiever Award” presented by the Institute of Change Management, Pune.

Rathi-Vinay-JhaMrs Rathi Vinay Jha – Member
Former member of Indian Administrative Service . Chairperson , Plan India

Mrs Rathi Vinay Jha joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1967. She worked in the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu for 37 years. She handled various assignments, among others, as Collector of Madras, CMD of the Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Development Corporation, CMD of COOPTEX, CMD of the India Trade Promotion Organization. She was Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and the Director General of Anti-Dumping. As the Secretary of Tourism Ministry, she undertook the planning and development of tourism destinations on a sustainable scale, such as at Hampi, Ajanta-Ellora, Bodhgaya, and the Buddhist circuit among others. She retired in 2004 as Secretary of Ministry of Tourism.

In 1987, Mrs Jha established India’s first professional college for fashion education – The National Institute of Fashion Technology. After retirement she served as Secretary General of the India chapter of the World Travel & Tourism Council, as also the Director General of the Fashion Design Council of India for six years.

She is currently the Chairperson of three NGO Boards:

  • The Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation, a partner NGO of UNESCO.
  • The India Foundation for Arts (IFA).
  • All India Artisans and Crafts persons Association (AIACA).

She is on the Boards of a number of NGO’s working in the field of Management, Education, Health and Arts.

Tatsuya-TanamiMr. Tatsuya Tanami – Member
Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation, Tokyo

After graduating from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in 1973, Mr. Tatsuya Tanami joined the International House of Japan, a private, non-profit organization based in Tokyo that promotes cultural exchange and intellectual cooperation between Japan and other countries. He worked closely with universities, academic institutions and private foundations including the Toyota, Ford and Rockefeller foundations.

In 1999 he moved to The Nippon Foundation to oversee its international programs, including that of global leprosy elimination. He is also responsible for various fellowships and scholarships, intellectual dialogue frameworks, and international cultural exchanges sponsored by the Foundation.

Prof.-Etsuko-KITAProf. Etsuko Kita – Member
Chairman of the Board of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation, Japan

Prof. Etsuko Kita MD, PhD, completed her medical degree at Nara Medical University, Japan. In order to further develop her expertise, she studied at John Hopkins School of Public Health in the USA as a special research student, and later served as a senior researcher.

Trained as a pediatrician, she was the first Japanese medical doctor sent by Japanese Government to work in conflict area of Peshawar, Pakistan in 1988. From 1997, as a member of WHO EHA (Emergency Humanitarian Action), she worked in conflict areas of Afghanistan, Kosovo, CIS and African countries. In 2001, she joined the Japanese Red Cross Kyushu International College of Nursing as a professor and served as President since 2005 until 2012.

Dr. Kita has been Chair of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation since 2013. She oversees the organization with a focus on Leprosy, palliative care and public health. Regarding leprosy, Dr. Kita keenly explores the balance between physical, mental and social health and on Leprosy.

Over the course of her remarkable career, Prof. Kita was awarded various prizes such as Prime Minister’s Award for Promoters of a Gender Equal Society, Foreign Minster’s Commendations and Avon Award. She was also elected as one of the 100 Japanese respected by the World in Newsweek magazine in 2006.

9-dr-derek-patsy-loboDr. Derek Lobo – Member
Consultant, Department of Public Health, Manipal University, Karnataka State India

He has an M.B.B.S. from University of Mysore-India and achieved First Rank and the coveted WorringtonYorke Medal in International Community Health – D.T.M & H., University of Liverpool-UK in 1982.

He has extensive and varied professional experience spanning 37 years in public health, tropical medicine and communicable disease control/elimination. He has retired as Regional Advisor for Leprosy & Other Diseases Targeted for Elimination/Eradication, World Health Organisation, South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi.

He was at K.S. Hegde Medical Academy (KHSEMA), Mangalore. He also served as Regional Advisor – Leprosy & Other Diseases and assisted WHO and the Member States to develop, sustain and strengthen effective programmes/services for control/elimination/eradication of selected communicable diseases, with particular reference to leprosy, yaws, lymphatic filariasis & parasitic infections and diseases posing global development challenges such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and diseases targeted for global or Regional Control, Elimination or Eradication such as Leprosy and Kala Azar; in three countries-BANGLADESH, ETHIOPIA and INDIA.

He has Authored, Co-authored and published/presented over forty scientific papers.

Awards bestowed to him include:

  1. St Aloysius College “Eminent Alumni Award” 2008 – conferred on 12th January 2008; and
  2. RACHANA “Professional” of the year Award 2008 – conferred on 11th January 2009.

Ms. Supriya Banerji- Member
Ms Supriya Banerji retired as Deputy Director General from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in May 2016. She joined the organisation in 1984.

She was the Head of UK operations of the CII from 1993 to 2001 during this period she was based in London. Her responsibility was to increase bilateral investment and trade. For which she worked both Governments and industry closely.

To acknowledge her contribution to bilateral trade and in investment, in 2006, Supriya was conferred the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty’s Government, Great Britain. 

On her return from the UK in 2001, she was the Regional Director of CII’s operations in Southern India and was based in Chennai. As its Regional Director, Ms Banerji worked with the Southern State Governments on policy issues, enhancing efficiency, competitiveness, fast tracking specialized projects and highlighting industry’s position on various policy and social/developmental issues.

At the Head Quarters of the CII in New Delhi, Ms Banerji has handled many responsibilities in the CII like International Affairs; Skill Development; Education; and Affirmative Action

In 2009 she was deputised from the CII for a year to set up the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) – a Public Private Partnership initiative of Government with industry. The NSDC is dedicated to development of Skills in India.

Ms Banerji is a Post Graduate in Sociology from the University of Mumbai. She graduated from Sophia College in Mumbai. 

Post her retirement she is associated with WMG of Warwick University, Great Britain; she is on the Advisory Board of the Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation ; and a Non Executive Director on the Board of De Nora India Limited.

Advisory Board

Rajesh-SrivastavaMr Rajesh Srivastava – Member

Rajesh Srivastava is the Chairman & Managing Director of Rabo Equity Advisors, managing 2 Rabobank sponsored private equity funds of US$120mln and US$150mln, both focused on food and agribusiness. The new Fund has Rabobank, CDC Group, UK; Asian Development Bank; Generali Insurance, Italy; FMO, The Netherlands; Proparco, France; IFU, Denmark as its investors. He has so far closed 12 investments, all in different sub-sectors.

Before setting up the private equity business, he was Managing Director (Corporate & Commercial Banking) of Rabobank India. Concurrently, he was Regional Head, Asia for food and agribusiness for over 5 years based in Singapore. In Rabobank, he is credited with setting up several new products such as Strategic Advisory, Renewable Energy, Carbon Credits and Micro Finance. Before Rabobank, he was with Lazard Brothers’ Venture Capital arm where he set up the largest VC Fund of the time for SMEs. Starting his career with Bank of Baroda, he has over 36 years of experience in corporate and investment banking.

Rajesh is regarded as a pioneer in establishing a private equity market for food and agribusiness sector and for advocacy on policies on agriculture/food processing. Amongst others, he sits on the CII National Committees on Agriculture, Food Processing and Innovation, Chairs CII Northern Regional Committee on Agriculture and Food Processing, and the Board of Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation.

Mr Srivastava has been assisting S-ILF on financial matters and processes. He is an Economics and Law graduate and a post graduate in Western History.

Ravi-SinghMr Ravi Singh – Member
Secretary General & CEO of WWF-India

Mr Ravi Singh, started his career as a Lecturer of History in Bhagat Singh College, Delhi University after his Masters in History from St. Stephen’s College in 1975. He joined The Chartered Bank (now Standard Chartered Bank) in 1976. Since 2003, Mr Singh is with WWF India. Prior to this appointment, he was the General Manager and Head, Multi National Corporates, Deutsche Bank, Mumbai.

Beside his professional achievements in the corporate sector, Mr. Singh has had an abiding interest in the conservation of nature and working for India. He has been involved in conservation related issues since 1976 and has been a member of several conservation organizations, which included WWF and the BNHS. As the head of WWF-India, the country’s largest conservation organization, Mr. Singh participates in national fora covering biodiversity and aspects of reducing human footprint.

Mr Singh, has played squash at national levels, is a keen traveller, a member of the Himalayan Club, and an avid reader. His other interests include Indian History, High Altitude Trekking, Photography and Natural History.

Mr Ravi Singh is assisting S-ILF in their strategic planning and for the well-being of those affected by the disease.