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Our Board

Dr. Aurobindo Behera, IAS (Retd.): Chairperson

Dr. Aurobindo Behera has served Odisha as a District Collector, Revenue Divisional Commissioner, Secretary to Chief Minister, Secretary – Departments of Forest and Environment, ST and SC Development, Rural Development, Public Works Department, and Water Resources Department, etc. He was also the Managing Director, Odisha State Disaster Management, Additional CMD, Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha, and a member of the Board of Revenue. He is associated with several civil society initiatives in education, tribal affairs, and sanitation.

Mr. Gautam Kumar Pradhan : Managing Trustee

Mr. Pradhan has worked for 19 years with Harsha Trust with a rich experience in enhancing the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable tribes in Odisha. He led the organization as Executive Director for the period 2012-2017. He has played an instrumental role in transforming the organization to be an institution of excellence in the field of rural livelihoods and improving the quality of life of rural poor adhering to the mission, vision, and values of the organization by creating an ecosystem for good governance, synergy for teamwork and equal opportunity for all. The year 2017 onwards he focused on establishing robust systems and processes at Harsha Trust fostering its journey towards excellence. He is currently working as Region Head with Selco Foundation.

Nisha Jamvwal: Trustee

Columnist, author, brand consultant, designer -Nisha Jamvwal’s work in branding, luxury, social causes, Interiors Architecture & design blend seamlessly, converting her passion for the creative and visual arts into her work where all synergise seamlessly.
She authors six columns as well and does television shows on design.
In Nisha you find adversity has become an ally where her inspiring story even drew the attention of international best selling author Jeffrey Archer so that he has chronicled her life story in ‘And Thereby Hangs A Tale’ where she is called by her real name.
Nisha is also a craft crusader and works to save our traditional heritage. She has authored two books on traditional Indian craft & is working also with activist Abha Singh to make India Accessible

Dr. Nivedita Narain: Trustee

Dr. Nivedita Narain has a PhD in Management Studies from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi; a master’s in Professional Studies in International Development Policy from Cornell University in the USA; a Post-graduate Diploma in Rural Management from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. She is a certified trainer in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, training of trainers, and entrepreneurial motivation trainer at NIESBUD (National Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development) and is a founder member of the Institute for Group Facilitators. Nivedita has led PRADAN’s Human Resources Development Unit, and Research and Resource Centre and has also led PRADAN’s initiative to institutionalise development practice in the higher education sector, in collaboration with Ambedkar University Delhi.

Prof. D.V.Ramana: Trustee

Dr. Ramana is a Professor of Accounting at Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar. His teaching interests are in the areas of Financial Accounting, Strategic Management Accounting and Regulatory Accounting and Finance. He has also worked as a senior consultant with the Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC) ltd.He is also associated with many Govt Enterprises as Director.
He is engaged in the action research of making management education relevant for the people doing business on street (BOS). The experiment was to provide support to the mini and micro enterprises operating at the Base of the Pyramid (BOP).

Ms. Bishakha Bhanja : Trustee

Ms. Bishakha Bhanja is a postgraduate in Political Science, Graduate in Law, and holds a diploma in “Law, Development, and Justice” from ISS, The Hague. She has 30 years of experience in the development sector and worked in international organizations like OXFAM, Lutheran World Service, DFID, Diakonia, and Water Aid. Earlier she was the Country representative of India for Diakonia. She was the Regional Representative of Water Aid. Presently she is actively involved in the National Alliance of Women. She is an expert in imparting gender training to various categories of people while contributing 15 years working on trafficking and migration issues in her capacity.  She is a pioneer in visualizing the issues of trafficking in Odisha beyond commercial sexual exploitation and the importance of safe migration.

Mr. Daniel Umi : Trustee

Mr. Umi has more than 24 years of experience in the social sector holding his Masters in Social Work. He is Director Migration Education in the Aide et Action International in South Asia. He is leading Action Aid’s South Asia Team that addresses the issues of migrant children’s inclusion & Development. Also he has set up a Migration & Education thematic unit known as MiRC (Migration Information & Resource Centre). He leads MiRC in carrying out the research, training, program designing, policy briefing, and advocacy on the rights and entitlement of internal migrant workers and children in India. He worked closely with the migrant children & workers across geographies Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana for psychosocial aspects and innovating education for children affected in the Odisha Super cyclone. He also worked closely with the Ministry of Rural development on designing an Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise (IPPE-1) for the implementation of MGNREGA in India.

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