Guest Speakers

  • Madeleine K. Albright

    Madeleine K. Albright

    Madeleine K. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets.

    Dr. Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America's alliances, advocated democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade and business, labour, and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a member of the President's Cabinet. From 1989 to 1992, she served as President of the Center for National Policy. Previously she was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff from 1978 to 1981, and from 1976 to 1978, she served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.

    Dr. Albright is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Albright serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees for the Aspen Institute. In 2009, Dr. Albright was asked by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to Chair a Group of Experts on NATO's New Strategic Concept.

    Dr. Albright received a B.A. with Honors from Wellesley College, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a Certificate from its Russian Institute. Dr. Albright is the author of four New York Times best-sellers. Her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, was published in 2003. In 2006, Dr. Albright published The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs. Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership was published in 2008. Her latest book, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box was published in 2009.

  • Nirupam Bajpai

    Nirupam Bajpai

    Nirupam Bajpai is director of the Columbia Global Centers, South Asia and a Senior Development Advisor at the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. He is also a Member of the Scientific Committee of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the U.N. Millennium Project on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015.

    Over the last two decades, he has been working at different U.S. universities beginning at the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1992; Harvard University from 1995 to 2002 and since July 2002 at Columbia University. Prior to his arrival at Columbia, Bajpai worked for seven years at Harvard University, most recently at the Kennedy School of Government’s Center for International Development leading the Harvard India Programme and prior to that at the Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University. During this period, he also worked at MIT's Media Lab Asia as a Senior Fellow.

    Bajpai is considered to be a leading economic advisor of his generation. For almost two decades, he has been studying the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and globalisation and advising governments, both at the federal and the state levels. In India, Dr. Bajpai is also working towards combining economic development with environmental sustainability to promote the mitigation of anthropogenic climate change.

    Bajpai has had the high honour and privilege of advising the Honorable Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and several of his cabinet ministers since 2008 and also served as an economic advisor to the Honorable Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India.

    Bajpai has led several teams of social and physical scientists to conduct research and advice several State Governments on "Scaling up Services in Rural India" wherein teams led by him were working with Rural Communities in India.
    Bajpai is the recipient of several honours and awards. In 2008, Bajpai was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India, which is the highest civilian national honour bestowed by the Government of India. In the category of ‘Literature and Education, Bajpai is the youngest awardee ever since the Padma Awards were instituted in 1954 having been conferred the award at the age of 45.

  • Louise Carmichael

    Louise Carmichael

    Louise Carmichael was a Counsellor and a War Torture and Trauma Psychotherapist at the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress. Her work as a counsellor at the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress entailed a wide range of clinical and outreach counselling, as well as providing social and emotional support to aboriginal people, families and communities living within a one hundred kilometer radius of Alice Springs in the wilderness of Australia. As a War Trauma and Torture Psychotherapist she provided psychotherapy, advocacy and referrals to people suffering from trauma associated with war, dispossession and re-settlement in Hobart, Australia.


    Her journey as a visual artist working with leather and paints and her journey of self-discovery and actualization through open-heart meditation has been incredible. Louise was awarded the Prime Minister's Australia-India Scholarship which has given her the opportunity to study Master of Social Work at the age of 54 in India. She developed the first ever psychotherapeutic intervention model for juvenile delinquents and is at present working with a group of five Young India Fellows on projects that entail work with juvenile delinquents, children afflicted with trauma of sexual abuse, children of sex workers and children and women trafficked for sex work in India. 


  • Amit Chandra

    Amit Chandra

    Mr. Chandra joined Bain Capital in early 2008 to found the Mumbai office and today is the Managing Director of Bain Capital Advisors. Mr. Chandra spent most of his professional career at DSP Merrill Lynch, India's leading investment bank. At the firm, he had direct oversight of its Global Markets & Investment Banking business. He retired from DSP Merrill Lynch in 2007 as its Board Member & Managing Director. Previously, Mr. Chandra was a partner, since inception, of NSR Advisors, which advised NSR Private Equity, a $1.3 bn fund focused on the sub-continent. Prior to his MBA, Mr. Chandra worked for over two years at India's leading engineering & construction firm, Larsen & Toubro. Mr. Chandra was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007. He is active in India’s not- for- profit space and serves as a Trustee/Board Member of The Akanksha Foundation (providing education to less privileged children), GiveIndia (India's leading philanthropic exchange), and Creditibility Alliance (working towards uplifting standards of NGOs). 

    Mr. Chandra received his MBA from Boston College, on a full research scholarship, and was awarded the school's Distinguished Alumni in 2007. He received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from VJTI, Bombay University.

  • Avik Chatterjee

    Avik Chatterjee

    Avik is a high energy facilitator who has expertise in Personality Type Theories, Performance enhancement tools, Culture Transformation and Energising the whole system for exponential growth. He has been a facilitator and corporate trainer since 2004. His background in theater adds a powerful impact to his facilitation style and create a dynamic learning environment. He learned theater from Badal Sircar, his grandfather, and joined his troupe and performed for 8 years all across India when he was 14 years old. He has taken theater workshops on self development for various schools and colleges. He had directed plays for Mayo College and IP College

    He conducts programmes in the areas of Team Effectiveness, Leadership Development, Creativity and Problem Solving and Large Group Interventions using Appreciative Inquiry and has also conducted induction programmes for IMT, Ghaziabad, MDI and IIM, Lucknow. He is a trained Executive Coach from Coach For Life and has been coaching people since 2009.

    As a facilitator, his style is high on energy, involvement and engagement. He is equally adept in a classroom and in the outdoors and has worked with GETs as well as with people who have more than 25 years of professional experience. Avik brings the elements of coaching for effectively helping the participants find the right answer for themselves and take action on them. He also does keynote and motivational speaking at conferences and events and has been invited to speak on TED on “Out of the Box Awesomeness”.

  • Patralekha Chatterjee

    Patralekha Chatterjee

    Patralekha Chatterjee is a Delhi-based journalist, photographer, columnist, author and media trainer working at the national and international level. Her work straddles mass media, specialist publications, NGOs and international agencies such as the United Nations. She has travelled and reported from dozens of countries in Asia and Europe and has special domain knowledge of regions where poverty remains a significant challenge and which are coping with other challenges, such as gender disparities, health inequalities, malnutrition, HIV and AIDS, emerging infectious diseases, drugs, crime, environmental degradation, climate change, internal conflicts and displacement.

    She writes regularly for The Lancet, British Medical Journal, Intellectual Property Watch and several Indian publications. Her fortnightly column (Dev 360) in The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, two multi-edition English language Indian newspapers with a combined circulation of 1.4 million, focuses on India and other emerging economies. Patralekha also has an occasional column in The Daily News and Analysis (DNA), a top, multi-edition English language newspaper published in India. This column, which appears every alternate week, sometimes takes an irreverent look at development shibboleths. Since 2013, she has also been contributing a Sunday column (alternate weeks) in the widely read and influential Hindi newspaper, Amar Ujala.

    Patralekha is an alumna of Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, IIMC and Calcutta University.

  • Nilima Chitgopekar

    Nilima Chitgopekar

    Dr. Nilima Chitgopekar is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the Jesus & Mary College, Delhi University. She has lectured widely overseas as well as in India and has been the recipient of prestigious fellowships. Besides the different articles written by her, Dr. Chitgopekar is the author of books entitled, ‘Encountering Shivaism: The Deity, the Milieu, the Entourage’, ‘The Book of Durga’ and ‘Rudra: The Idea of Shiva’. She has edited ‘Invoking Goddesses: Gender Politics in Indian Religion’ and most recently has collaborated on two books, with an artist entitled, ‘The Shiva Experience’ and ‘The Goddesses Experience’. Nilima Chitgopekar is in partnership with an online company `Transformative Learning Solutions’ which is involved in creating documentary films that focus on spreading messages from ancient Indian wisdom. Her next publication is a book of poems which will be out in January 2014.

  • Sanjiv Chopra

    Sanjiv Chopra

    Dr. Sanjiv Chopra is Professor of Medicine and Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical Education at Harvard Medical School, and Senior Consultant in Hepatology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

    Sanjiv is the Editor-in-Chief of the Hepatology Section of ‘UpToDate’, the most widely used electronic textbook in the world. Sanjiv also serves as the course director of several CME courses including seven annual Current Clinical Issues in Primary Care (PriMed) conferences held in collaboration with UCLA, Johns Hopkins, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Miami, Northwestern University and Columbia Presbyterian College of Physicians and Surgeons.

    Sanjiv has had a life-long passion in educating clinicians and lay people. He has conducted scores of workshops on Success and Life Principles. He has given a number of Keynote addresses on the topic of Leadership – “Leadership for the 21st Century: The Ten Tenets of Leadership” to wide acclaim in the United States and several countries abroad.

  • Ashish Dhawan

    Ashish Dhawan

    Ashish is the Founder and CEO of Central Square Foundation. He is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who guides the Foundation with his strategic vision, values and fresh approach to philanthropy. Prior to founding Central Square, Ashish was Sr. Managing Director, ChrysCapital; a private equity firm that he co-founded in 1999.

    Ashish serves on the board of several non-profits including Akanksha Foundation, 3.2.1 Education Foundation, Teach For India, Centre for Civil Society, Janaagraha and GiveLife. He is also a member of the HBS India Advisory Board. Previously Ashish has worked with leading investment institutions such as Goldman Sachs, GP Investments and MDC Partners. He is an MBA with distinction from Harvard University and a dual bachelor's (BS/BA) holder in applied mathematics and economics with Magna Cum Laude honours from Yale University.

  • Sarathbabu Elumalai

    Sarathbabu Elumalai

    An Indian entrepreneur, social worker & politician an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad & Birla Institute of Technology & Science (Pilani). Sarathbabu Elumalai rose through the ranks with sheer hard work & determination.

    After completing his management education, Sarathbabu decided to become an entrepreneur with the aim of providing employment to as many people as possible. In 2006, he started his venture "Food King Catering services Private Limited" with a capital of Rs 2000 to cater to banks, software companies and educational institutions.] It is now located in 6 locations around India with a turnover of 8 crore.

    He decided to take part in active politics with a mission to be a part of a cleaner system. He contested as an independent candidate from the South Chennai constituency during the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections 2009. Although he did not win, he secured over 15,000 votes. In 2010, he joined Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, a regional political party, but quit the party later when his ideology didn't match with the party's. In the 2011 Tamil Nadu assembly elections, he contested again as an Independent candidate from the Velachery constituency.

    Sarathbabu has been actively motivating young people across the country with positiveness of his story and involved in various social activities like adopting education of needy meritorious students. In 2010,he started the 'Hunger Free India' foundation, an initiative to free India of hunger in 20 years. He called upon everyone to observe 10 October a 'Hunger Free Day'.

    Sarathbabu Elumalai has been recognized as Pepsi-MTV Youth Icon, RITZ Channel  Youth Icon, and has been awarded the  CNN-IBN Award for Young Indian Leader – 2011, Example to Youth Award, Honorary Rotarian & Honorary Alumnus, XLRI Jamshedpur.

    Sarathbabu often quotes his mother being the source of his inspiration.

  • Ramachandra Guha

    Ramachandra Guha

    Dr Ramachandra Guha is an Indian writer whose research interests have included environmental, social, political and cricket history. He is also a columnist for the newspapers The Telegraph, Khaleej Times, and The Hindustan Times. He is a fellow of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta.

    Born in Dehra Dun in 1958, Guha studied at The Doon School and St. Stephen's College, Delhi. He graduated in Economics with a BA in 1977 and then an MA from the Delhi School of Economics, and did a PhD in Sociology at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta.

    Between 1985 and 2000, he taught at various universities in India, Europe and North America, including the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, Stanford University and Oslo University, and later at the Indian Institute of Science. During this period, he was also a fellow of Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in Germany.

    He served as Sundaraja Visiting Professor in the Humanities at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 2003. He is the managing trustee of the New India Foundation, a nonprofit body that funds research on modern Indian history.

    He is the author of India after Gandhi, published by Macmillan and Ecco in 2007. The US magazine Foreign Policy named him as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world in May 2008. And in 2009, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award.

  • Rakesh Jaggi

    Rakesh Jaggi

    Rakesh Jaggi joined Schlumberger in 1992 in its Wireline divsion. As a field engineer he worked on challenging projects in Bombay, San-Fernando and Galeota (Trinidad) after which he was assigned to management positions in Yopal and Bogota (Colombia). As the Field Service Manager he was responsible for setting up the new Wireline base in Bogota. He managed the profitability of his division during the downturn in the oil industry in the late nineties as the Country Manager & Oil Field Services Manager for Wireline & Testing in Trinidad. As the Operations Manager for Mexico in 2000 he restored the profitability of the Wireline division in the country and led the division of the NSA geomarket from August, 2002 to 2004. He is currently the VP, Reservoir Production Group at the Abu Dhabi office of Schlumberger.

  • Ajit Kumar Jha

    Ajit Kumar Jha

    Ajit Kumar Jha- Noted academician and journalist, he has held the position of a Teaching Associate at the UCLA and has taught undergraduate courses in Political Theory, Comparative Politics & Democracies, Election & Political Economy for a term of 5 years. He is the current editor of Qatar Tribune Doha, which is the youngest newspaper of the capital and also the leading in terms of editorial content. He has worked with prestigious dailies and magazines such as Oman Tribune, Muscat & India Today as Editor and Senior Editor respectively.

    His experience in the fields of academics and journalism is noteworthy and spans over two decades. Not only has Mr. Jha worked with three of India’s leading newspapers The Times of India, The Indian Express and Hindustan Times. He has launched two English dailies in the Middle East and has edited them for the last 9 years. He has featured regularly as a television anchor on Headlines Today and as an analyst on Aaj Tak , Al Jazeera and Zee TV to name a few. He has also appeared on BBC, Deustche Welle, and AIR as a radio commentator.

    Ajit has written several editorials, analytical pieces as well as field reports on politics: elections, political parties, political violence, caste and class wars, underrepresentation of minorities and marginalized sections, including women, in political institutions and interviewed several Prime Ministers including Dr Manmohan Singh (2008), Presidents, Cabinet Rank Ministers, other Government officials, Ambassadors, CEOs and business leaders.

    He is passionate about election analysis, and writes on politics, elections, economics, environment and strategy and occasionally on literature and other features.

    Ajit Kumar Jha is an alumnus of University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA), Trinity College, Oxford University, UK (INLAKS scholar), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi and Patna University, Patna College. He is also a visiting faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia and has taught in the past at Qatar Foundation and University in Doha, UCLA in Los Angeles among other places.

  • Prabhat Jha

    Prabhat Jha

    Professor Prabhat Jha is a key figure in epidemiology and economics of global health. He is the University of Toronto Endowed Professor in Disease Control at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

    Professor Jha is a lead investigator of the Million Death Study in India, which quantifies the causes of premature mortality in over 2 million homes from 1997‐2014 including the contribution of key risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol. The MDS has transformed disease control in India, and identified reliably the major causes of avoidable death, spurring action on tobacco, and infectious disease. He is the author of several influential publications on tobacco control, including two that helped enable a global treaty on tobacco control, now signed by over 160 countries. He is an Editor for Disease Control Priorities 3, which examines solutions to major global health challenges, including of the Cancer and HIV, STI, Tuberculosis and Malaria Volumes. He is a Senior Editor of eLife, an open source biomedical science journal. Professor Jha publishes widely on cause of death statistics, disease control, tobacco control and economics.

    Prior to founding CGHR, Professor Jha served as Senior Scientist for the World Health Organization, where he co‐led the work on health and poverty for the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. Earlier, he headed the World Bank team responsible for developing the Second National HIV/AIDS Control Program and the National Malaria Control Program, both in India. His advisory work includes the Government of South Africa on its national health insurance plan, the United States Institute of Medicine on global health and on the board of University of Toronto Schools.

    Notable recognitions include Fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2013), Officer of the Order of Canada for services to global health and epidemiology (2012), Luther Terry Award for Research on Tobacco Control (2012), The Globe and Mail 25 Transformational Canadians (2010), Top 40 Canadians under Age 40 (2004) and the Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award (2004). Professor Jha holds an M.D. from the University of Manitoba and a D.Phil. from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

  • Kriti Kapila

    Kriti Kapila

    Kriti Kapila is a social anthropologist whose research focuses on the work of law in contemporary India. She is currently completing a manuscript entitled Domestic Modern: Law, Intimacy and Citizenship in North India. The book is an anthropological study of the place of law in everyday domestic life in colonial and contemporary India.

    Her present research is concerned with the regimes of evidence around cultural difference in India in three distinct but interrelated contexts. This research examines the politics of recognition in India with a particular focus on the overlaps and disjuncture between official, popular and academic understandings of the category ‘tribe’ in contemporary India. It further compares two large-scale mapping exercises that have the culture-concept at their heart, currently underway in India: a) The biologicalised understanding of Indian society in the ongoing research on the historical DNA of Indian population groups, and b) The codification of group rights in tangible and intangible cultural heritage under the UNESCO Convention and the interface of national and transnational legal regimes.

    Kriti studied at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and did her PhD at the London School of Economics. She subsequently held the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge and was also a Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

  • Madhav Khosla

    Madhav Khosla

    Madhav Khosla is a PhD candidate in the Department of Government (aka Political Science) at Harvard University. His interests lie in public law, political theory, and intellectual history; and especially in Indian political thought and Indian and comparative constitutional law. Prior to coming to Harvard, he worked at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, and clerked at the Supreme Court of India. Madhav holds an LLM from Yale Law School, where he studied as an Inlaks Scholar, and a BA, LLB (Hons) from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

  • Madhu Purnima Kishwar

    Madhu Purnima Kishwar

    Madhu Purnima Kishwar is Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)—a social science research centre, based in Delhi. Director of the Indic Studies Project based at CSDS aimed at the study of diverse faith traditions and cultures in the Indic civilisation. She is the Founder Editor and publisher of Manushi - A Journal about Women and Society published since 1979. The Journal is run by a non-profit Trust. Kishwar is also Founder President, Manushi Sangathan - a forum for research based advocacy and active interventions to strengthen human rights, women's rights and the culture of social justice in India.

    She studied at Miranda House as well as at Jawahar Lal Nehru University. In 2013, Madhu Kishwar wrote Modinama (Chronicles of Modi) in which she has been critical of the media for their false propaganda about Narendra Modi's role during Gujarat violence 2002 and in its aftermath.

  • Ratul Lahkar

    Ratul Lahkar

    Dr. Ratul Lahkar is Associate Professor of Economics in the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), Chennai. His primary area of interest is Game Theory, with specialisation in Evolutionary Game Theory.  Some of his work has been published in economic theory journals like Journal of Economic Theory, and Games and Economic Behavior. Before joining IFMR in 2008, Ratul was a postdoctoral research Fellow in the Department of Mathematics, University College London.

    Ratul completed his PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007. He did his BA in Economics from Ramjas College, Delhi and his MA in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics. He finished his school education in Guwahati.

  • Punita Lal

    Punita Lal

    Punita is a high-calibre professional manager with over 25 years of experience in strategy, marketing and leadership. Her unique work experience spans multiple geographies and cultures. Punita is admired for her style of leadership, strategic thinking and ‘getting things done’. Punita has been chosen as one of India’s top 20 business women by Business Today in 2006 and was awarded Corporate Woman of the Year in 2009 by the FICCI Women’s Organisation.

    Punita’s last held role was as CEO for NourishCo, a strategic joint venture between the Tatas and PepsiCo in the area of healthier beverages, providing value-based hydration solutions to the bottom-of-the-pyramid, using innovative business solutions and a capital-light model. In her prior role, as Executive Director - Marketing, PepsiCo Beverages, PepsiCo’s revenue grew +18% CAGR, gaining 1.2% of share, spurred by the turnaround of Mountain Dew, Slice and Pepsi. She also launched Nimbooz, India’s first scale and locally relevant beverage platform innovation, while reinstating brand Pepsi as the most trusted FMCG beverage brand in India( post the decimation caused by the pesticide crisis ). Punita and her team won the Best Global Marketing team in PepsiCo award.

    Punita worked in Coca Cola, China for 5 years prior to returning to India, and began her career in advertising where she worked on several blue-chip FMCG clients including Unilever, J&J, Kellogg’s and Pepsi.

    Punita did her BA (Hons) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and her MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. Punita`s interests include Indian music, Jazz, gourmet cooking, clay pottery and travelling.

  • Michael A. Levi

    Michael A. Levi

    Dr. Michael A. Levi is the David M. Rubenstein senior Fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and director of the CFR programme on energy security and climate change. He is an expert on climate change, energy security, arms control, and nuclear terrorism.

    Before joining CFR, Dr. Levi was a nonresident science Fellow and a science and technology Fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. Prior to that, he was director of the Federation of American Scientists' Strategic Security Project.

    Dr. Levi is author of 
    The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future (Oxford University Press, May 2013). He is also the author of the books On Nuclear Terrorism (Harvard University Press, 2007) and (with Michael O'Hanlon) The Future of Arms Control (Brookings Institution Press, 2005). He was project director for the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on climate change, co-chaired by former governors Tom Vilsack and George Pataki. His 2005 monograph with Michael D'Arcy, Untapped Potential: U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation with the Islamic World, was the first comprehensive study of science and technology in the Muslim world. His recent writings include studies of natural gas exports, the Canadian oil sands, and the global politics and economics of clean energy innovation.

    Dr. Levi has testified before Congress and presented expert scientific evidence to the National Academy of Sciences on climate change and on nuclear security. His essays have been published in Foreign AffairsForeign PolicyNature, and Scientific American, among others. His op-eds have appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street Journal, and Financial Times. Dr. Levi previously wrote a monthly online column on science and security for the New Republic, and served as a technical consultant to the critically acclaimed television drama 24. He currently writes a blog on energy, climate, and nuclear issues.

    Dr. Levi holds a BSc (Hons) in mathematical physics from Queen's University (Kingston) and an MA in physics from Princeton University, where he studied string theory and cosmology. He holds a PhD in war studies from the University of London (King's College), where he was the SSHRC William E. Taylor fellow. He lives in New York.


  • Lindsay Levin

    Lindsay Levin

    Lindsay Levin is Founder and Managing Partner of Leaders’ Quest and author of Invisible Giants: changing the world one step at a time (published by Vala in March 2013).

    Lindsay’s focus on inspirational leadership, and its impact on economic and social development, led her to found Leaders’ Quest in 2001. She has since worked to connect leaders from all disciplines and sectors, to explore solutions to some of the big issues in the world today.

    Through the 1990s, Lindsay was CEO of Whites Group, a network of Audi and VW dealerships which she sold in the early 2000s. She has also founded a number of start--‐ups (where her near--‐misses shaped her learning as much as her successes) and her entrepreneurial ventures have been widely recognized for their focus on people and innovation. Lindsay is currently non--‐executive Chair and shareholder of a group of UK nursing and care homes for the elderly.

    Lindsay has a keen interest in international development. Between 2008 and 2012 she was Chair of the International Steering Committee of OneVoice, a conflict resolution movement working to strengthen civil society in Israel and Palestine, and she regularly facilitates workshops and dialogues in the region. She is also an active supporter of several global NGOs, including Oxfam, and a number of local NGOs in Asia and Africa.

    Lindsay graduated in Economics from Cambridge in 1985 and started her career with Bain & Company. She lives in London with her husband David, their sons Zac, Joe and Louis, and their two dogs.

  • Harsh Mander

    Harsh Mander

    Harsh Mander, social worker and writer, works with survivors of mass violence, hunger, homeless persons and street children. He is Director, Centre for Equity Studies and Special Commissioner to the Supreme Court of India in the Right to Food case. He is the founder of the campaigns Aman Biradari, for secularism, peace and justice; Nyayagrah, for legal justice and reconciliation for the survivors of communal violence; Dil Se, for street children, and ‘Hausla’ for urban homeless people. He worked formerly in the Indian Administrative Service in Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh for almost two decades.

    As Member of India’s National Advisory Council from June 2010-12, he convened the working groups on the Food Security Bill, Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill, Child Labour Abolition, Manual Scavenging Abolition, Urban Poverty and Homelessness, Disability Rights, Bonded Labour, Street Vendors and Urban Slums, and co-convened the groups on the Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, Dalits and Minorities, Tribal Rights, among others.  

    His books include ‘Unheard Voices: Stories of Forgotten Lives’, ‘The Ripped Chest: Public Policy and the Poor in India’, ‘Fear and Forgiveness: The Aftermath of Massacre’, ‘Fractured Freedom: Chronicles from India’s Margins’, ‘Untouchability in Rural India’ (co-authored), and his newest ‘Ash in the Belly: India’s Unfinished Battle against Hunger’. He regularly writes columns for the Hindu, Hindustan Times and Dainik Bhaskar, and contributes frequently to scholarly journals. His stories have been adapted for films, such as ShyamBenegal’s Samar, and Mallika Sarabhai’s dance drama Unsuni.

    He writes and speaks regularly on issues of social justice. He teaches courses on poverty and governance in the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; and St Stephen’s College, Delhi. Past teaching assignments include the LBS National Academy of Adminsitration, Mussoorie; and the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, JamiaMilliaIslamia, Delhi. He has also lectured at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco and the Centre for Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi;Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK; NALSAR (National Academy for Law) Hyderabad; MIT, Boston, UCLA, Universities of Stanford, Washington (Stanford), Austin, and several others.

    He is a founding member of the National Campaign for the People’s Right to Information. He was a Member of the Core Groups on Bonded Labour and Mental Hospitals of the statutory National Human Rights Commission;and also on various national official National Committees such as on Social Protection and BPL.  From October, 1999 to March 2004, worked as Country Director, ActionAid India, a development support organization. He is founder Chairpersonof the State Health Resource Centre, Chhatisgarh, which established the Mitanin Community Health Programme, which was the fore-runner of the Asha Programme. He is Chairperson of INCENSE (The Inclusion and Empowerment of People with Severe Mental Disorders). He is a member of the Working Group of the Project on Armed Conflict Resolution & People's Rights, University of California, Berkeley. He is associated with social causes and movements, such for communal harmony and justice, tribal, dalit, child and disability rights, homeless people and bonded labour.

    Among his awards are the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for peace work, the M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award 2002, the South Asian Minority Lawyers Harmony Award 2012 and the Chisthi Harmony Award 2012.

  • Ester Martinez

    Ester Martinez

    Ester, an HR professional turned entrepreneur, an alumnus from ISB in Hyderabad who chose to stay and work in India after her MBA and founded People Matters 3 years back. Ester has more than 14 years of experience in HR, with a wealth of knowledge in areas of talent and human resources management. Until 2008, she worked as a professional manager with a host of blue chip companies in different countries within Europe, UK and India. Ester holds a Postgraduate degree in Human Resources Management from EADA (Spain) and a Master’s Degree in Management from Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. She is subcommittee lead for the HR Group at AMCHAM and also the Vice President of the National HRD Network - Delhi & NCR chapter. 

  • Anjolie Ela Menon

    Anjolie Ela Menon

    Anjolie Ela Menon was born in 1940 in India of mixed Bengal and American parentage. She went to school in Lovedale in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu and thereafter had a brief spell at the J.J. School of art in Bombay. Subsequently she earned a degree of English Literature from Delhi University. After holding solo Exhibitions in Bombay and Delhi in the late 1950s as a teenager, Menon worked and studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1961-62 on a French Government scholarship. Before returning home, she traveled extensively in Europe and West Asia studying Romanesque and Byzantine art. Since then she has lived and worked in India, in England, the U.S.A., Germany and the erstwhile USSR. She had over thirty solo shows including at Black heath Gallery-London, Gallery Radicke-Bonn, Winston Gallery-Washington, Doma Khudozhinkov-USSR, Rabindra Bhavanand Shridharani Gallery-New Delhi, Academy of Fine Arts-Calcutta to name a few.

    In addition to paintings in private and corporate collections, her works have been acquired by museums in India and abroad. She is also a well-known muralist and has represented India at he Algiers Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil and three triennials in New Delhi. She has been invited by the British Council, the U.S. State Department and the French Ministry of Culture to confer with leading artists in those countries.

    Menon has served on the advisory committee and the art purchase - committee of the National Gallery of Modem Art, New Delhi, where she was co-curator with Henri Claude Cousseau for a major exhibition of French Contemporary Art in 1996.

    Her work recently went under the hammer at the Christie's and Sotheby's auctions of Contemporary Indian Art in London. A book titled "ANJOLIE ELA MENON: Paintings in Private Collections" has been published on her life and work.

    Menon lives and works in Delhi.

  • Luis Miranda

    Luis Miranda

    Luis has been involved in setting up 2 companies. In 2002, Luis founded IDFC Private Equity and in 2010 he stepped down as President & CEO. He stayed on as Chairman till the end of 2011. IDFC Private Equity has won many awards, including Infrastructure Investor’s “Asian Infrastructure Fund Manager of the Year 2009” and PEI’s “Best Private Equity Firm in India – 2009”. He was earlier a Partner at ChrysCapital. Prior to that, he spent 11 years in sales and trading and was a key member of the start-up team at HDFC Bank, India’s leading private sector bank. He has also worked at HSBC, Citibank, KPMG and Price Waterhouse.

    Luis is currently involved with a few not-for-profit and for-profit initiatives related to education, healthcare and early stage companies.

    Luis co-chairs the Global Advisory Board (Asia Cabinet) of the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago and is Chairman, Board of Advisors, Centre for Civil Society. The Centre for Civil Society is the only Indian think tank ranked in the “Top 50 Think Tanks – Worldwide (Non-US) 2011” by the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Trustee of the Society for Nutrition Education and Health Action (SNEHA). Luis is Senior Advisor, Global Environment Fund India; Director, SilverNeedle Hospitality; and Advisor, Manipal Education and Medical Group. Luis was a Director of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) and was Co-Chairman of the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA). He was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Committee on Infrastructure Investing.
    Luis received an MBA from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

  • Narendra Nayak

    Narendra Nayak

    Narendra Nayak is a notable rationalist, sceptic, and godman debunker from Mangalore, Karnataka, India.  He is the current president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA). He is also the founder of Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association in 1976. Nayak actively advocates the need for people to recognize pseudoscience and demand scientific evidence. He is also lobbying for a bill for the separation of state and religion to be introduced in the Indian Parliament.

    Nayak is a former Professor of Biochemistry from Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore and received the "Distinguished Service to Humanism Award" from the International Humanist and Ethical Union in 2011.

  • Bedabrata Pain

    Bedabrata Pain

    Dr. Bedabrata Pain was an award-winning scientist with NASA for 15 years. He quit NASA in 2009 to follow his passion – film-making. With his debut film Chittagong (2012), he won four Indian National Awards, including the prestigious Golden Lotus as the best first film.
    One of the inventors of CMOS digital imaging technology that enabled the digital camera revolution - from cell-phone cameras to movie cameras, he holds over 87 patents, and was inducted to the US Space Technology Hall of Fame.
    Earlier Bedabrata was the executive producer of internationally acclaimed film Amu (2005), the principal researcher for the documentary called Lifting the Veil (1997) and the writer of the book titled Behind the events in Kashmir (1991).
    Bedabrata graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India in 1986, where he topped the department of Electronics and Electrical Communication. He received his Masters and PhD degrees from Columbia University, New York in 1992. Concurrent with his NASA work, he taught in UCLA, he was leading figure in the field of image sensors - publishing over 150 technical papers, chairing several Image Sensor conferences, winning several awards, and being invited speakers at many conferences.

  • Vikram Patel

    Vikram Patel

    Vikram Patel is a Professor of International Mental Health and Welcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK). He is the Joint Director of the School’s Centre for Global Mental Health ( and Honorary Director of the Public Health Foundation of India's Centre for Mental Health. He is a co-founder of Sangath, a community based NGO in India ( He is a Fellow of the UK's Academy of Medical Sciences and serves on the WHO’s Expert Advisory Group for Mental Health and the Technical Steering Committee of the Department of Child & Adolescent Health, the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Mental Health and Well-Being, and the Mental Health Policy Group of the Ministry of Health, Government of India. His book Where There Is No Psychiatrist (2003) has become a widely used manual for community mental health in developing countries. He is based in India where he leads a programme of mental health research and capacity development in partnership with Sangath, the Public Health Foundation of India and government agencies.

  • Urvashi Prasad

    Urvashi Prasad

    Urvashi Prasad completed her Bachelors in Biological Sciences from the University of Birmingham, U.K. and her Masters in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge, U.K. She is currently Programme Officer at Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. She manages initiatives to develop sustainable models for delivery of basic services (clean drinking water and sanitation) to the urban poor in India, and to address the multiple needs of extremely poor households through holistic interventions (encompassing livelihoods, education and health services), in an effort to elevate families from an impoverished state to the level of the bankable poor. Urvashi's aspiration is to set up an organisation that will help scale-up evidence-based interventions in the public health space and improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations and people living in poverty.

    She enjoys dancing and has performed at several platforms in India. Urvashi is passionate about making a meaningful contribution to India's political system.

  • Vinod Rai

    Vinod Rai

    The former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai has been hailed as transforming his office into a force of accountability and transparency in India. He is the current chairman of UN Panel of External Auditor and is considered as a symbol of the anti-corruption movement. Figured as one of the Persons of the Year by Forbes magazine in 2011, he has managed to cut through the red tape barrier when it came to audits and reports.

    Vinod Rai graduated from Hindu College, University of Delhi and holds multiple Masters Degrees in Economics and Public Administration from Delhi School of Economics and Harvard University respectively. He also opted to study Financial Administration at Harvard Kennedy School while he was the District Collector and Magistrate of Kerala.

  • Maroof Raza

    Maroof Raza

    Maroof Raza is a commentator on military and homeland security issues on television and is currently the strategic affairs advisor for Times Now, India's leading television news channel. Apart from his regular appearances on the NewsHour debates, he now anchors a world affairs show 'Latitude' on the weekends.

    Maroof also writes for THE WEEK regularly and has written for most leading English publications in India, including a few hindi papers, and has a regular column in the monthly magazine he publishes, "Salute". He has appeared on almost all of India’s major television channels and on BBC’s World Service radio programmes, and has anchored and presented several television shows including the award winning series on the Indian armed forces, titled ‘Line of Duty’ for a TV Channel (on TimesNow) in 2006. His episode on the Siachin Glacier won an Award in the military documentary section at the Film Festival in Rome in 2005. This television series has also entered the 2007 edition of India’s Limca Book of Records.  

    Maroof Raza has been educated in India (at the Mayo College, Ajmer and at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi), and has done his Master's in England (in War Studies at King’s College, London and in International Relations at Cambridge University). He has served in the Indian army in the Grenadiers, and the Mechanized Infantry Regiments. He resigned his commission as a Major in 1993. He has authored two books, ‘Wars and no peace over Kashmir’ (1996) and on India’s ‘Low-Intensity Conflicts’ (in 1995), and edited two others: on ‘Generals and Governments in India and Pakistan’ (2001) and on ‘Confronting Terrorism’ (Penguin Books, 2009; and is the General Editor of a Military Affairs series of Har Anand Publications since 2001.

  • R C M Reddy

    R C M Reddy

    Mr. RCM Reddy is the Managing Director & CEO of IL&FS Education & Technology Services Ltd. (IL&FS Education), the social infrastructure arm of IL&FS India. His vision on role of Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Inclusive Development has led IL&FS Education and its subsidiary companies IL&FS Cluster Development Initiative Ltd. and IL&FS Skill Development Corporation to become India’s leading social enterprise. Many path breaking initiatives have been designed and successfully implemented using Technology, Innovation and Interactivity for youth from Below Poverty Line (BPL) groups. He has built a 1000 + people strong team of professionals from the best institutes who are working diligently to provide skill development services to people from 540 districts in India.

    His rich experience of the socio-economic inclusion needs of India, led to the ideation and formation of IL&FS Skills Development Corporation (IL&FS Skills), the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) first private sector Joint Venture (JV) Company. A network of 100 IL&FS Institute of Skills (Hub) and 500 IL&FS Skills Schools (Spokes) mapped to international standards, linked to industry manpower needs and fully technology enabled will skills 4 million people by 2022. More about the company can be seen at 

    Mr. Reddy is also actively leading several industry - government interface initiatives. Currently he holds the position of the Chairman of FICCI Skills Development Forum, Co-Chair of FICCI MSME committee, Member of India New Zealand Education Council (INZEC) in addition to being the Co-chair of UK India Skills Forum (UKISF).
    A former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, he worked with Government of India and Government of Tripura in various capacities.

    Mr. Reddy holds a Masters degree in Urban & Regional Planning and a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering.

  • Ajay Relan

    Ajay Relan

    Mr. Relan is one of the most well-known names in the Indian private equity space. Before founding CX Partners in 2008, he was head of the Indian operations of CVCI, Citibank’s private equity arm. As head of CVCI, from 1995 to 2008, he built and managed a team that has invested over $ 1billion in approximately 40 Indian companies.

    He has also served as Vice President and Head of Saudi American Bank's Corporate Finance Division and thereafter as Senior Consultant of Swiss Financial Services Company, where he was involved in the restructuring of financial institutions. Mr. Relan has also held Directorships in companies such as Jubilant Organosys, Suzlon Energy, HT Media, and Yes Bank, among others.

    Mr. Relan holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and graduated with Honours in Economics from St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi. He has also done an Owner/President Management Programme from Harvard Business School.

  • Paula Richman

    Paula Richman

    Paula Richman, Danforth Professor of South Asian Religions at Oberlin College in Ohio, USA, received her PhD in South Indian Literary and Cultural History at the University of Chicago. She published two books on Tamil literature: Women, Branch Stories, and Religious Rhetoric in a Tamil Buddhist Text and Extraordinary Child: Translations from a Tamil Genre of Devotional Poetry. She has also edited, and contributed to two volumes of essays: 'Many Ramayanas: The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia' and 'Questioning Ramayanas, a South Asian Tradition.'  

    At present, she is a Fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies, where she is completing a book on 20th century Tamil tellings of the Story of Rama and Sita and beginning a new study of regional performance traditions in India that enact episodes from the Ramayana tradition.

  • Maya Saran

    Maya Saran

    Maya Saran earned her PhD in Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, after first studying in Delhi at St Stephen's College. Her chosen specialty was Mathematical Logic and while earning her degree she spent several years as part of the Harvard-MIT Logic group in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

    Over the course of her graduate programme she taught about 700 undergraduates, and was twice recognized by the University for excellence in teaching. She covered a range of subjects in the undergraduate Math curriculum and for several semesters ran lab sessions for school teachers-in-training.

    Maya Saran now lives in Gurgaon with her family and offers workshops for all ages in which participants can experience “real” mathematics in an atmosphere of play.

  • Anup Surendranath

    Anup Surendranath

    Mr. Anup Surendranath, Assistant Professor of Law, Constitutional & Human Rights Law expert, notable columnist for The Hindu and an alumnus of University of Oxford and has been advocating the abolishment of Death Penalty in the context of the Indian judiciary system. He is noted to have worked extensively in the area of sub-classification of Scheduled Castes, OBCs and women in the reservation sphere. Anup graduated from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad in 2006 and went on to obtain his BCL and M.Phil degree in Law from Oxford University in 2010.

    Anup is actively engaged in comparative rights adjudication, socio-economic rights, Indian constitutional law and contemporary Indian politics.

  • Dev Tayde

    Dev Tayde

    Dev Tayde has been the Executive Director of Indicorps since August 2010. Dev joined the Indicorps team in January 2006 and has ambidextrously juggled Project Development and Fellowship Support roles. Dev brings a decade of experience spread over low cost housing and sanitation, community development, governance, education, youth development and capacity building. His volunteer stints with numerous organisations across India have enabled him to channelize his passion for service. Dev assisted and co-founded Down To Earth and Jagruti, non-profits engaged with children and youth from humble backgrounds and rural development respectively. Dev loves his time with earthworms as they collectively dig deep to make the world greener, and with young adults in workshops and on sports fields exchanging notes about making things better. 

    Prior to joining Indicorps, Dev earned his Masters of Social Work and gained field experience with Shelter Associates and Akanksha. During his time at the Akanksha Foundation, he was voted “Most Hardworking Team Member” for two successive years. The award was scrapped in the third year!!

    He is currently working for Unlimited India. Indicorps offers prestigious grassroots public service fellowship to implement sustainable development projects with community-based organizations across India. 

    Indicorps is a non-partisan, non-religious, non-profit organization with its India operations based out of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Indicorps’ objectives are multifold: providing Indians from all over the world with a channel to reconnect with India and with the means to contribute to its development, while fostering a new generation of socially-conscious global leaders.

  • Arjun Uppal

    Arjun Uppal

    Arjun is currently Head of Agri Business at Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar. This is a rural retail initiative of DSCL (DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited) and works with the objective of delivering goods and services to the rural community across India. It is the largest organized sector enterprise engaged in rural retail in India. He is directly responsible for several businesses such as Dairy, Fruits and vegetable, Seeds, Cattle Feed, vocational training, telecom etc.

    Prior to this Arjun was an Advisor to ICICI Bank’s Rural Credit Businesses: (2005 to 2007). There were two phases in this role. First was to interface between ICICI Bank and potential customers that operated in the rural space. This entailed working with large corporates such as ITC, Godrej, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance, Fabindia, Tata Chemicals etc with the objective of understanding their business models. Based on their needs, the Bank would create relevant products to cater to specific requirements. Creating a producer company model for Fabindia was one of the highlights.

    During the second phase, he worked closely with Dr Nachiket Mor and ICICI Foundation. The objective was to build businesses that had social impact. This covered several sectors such as food processing, handicrafts, skills, rural tourism, energy, etc. It essentially involved understanding the sector, identifying successful models, preparing business plans, funding such enterprises and then mentoring these to reach scale.

    Arjun was Managing Director of Mother Dairy Foods Ltd in its formative days. (2002-2003). The company’s mandate was to build a contemporary brand, form joint ventures with state federations and run the business in a commercially viable manner.

    Arjun spent 19 years with Hindustan Unilever Ltd till 2002 and worked in various commercial and general management roles. Two major achievements were in turning around the Seeds business and Kimberly Clark Lever Limited from losing operations to profitable ones.

    Arjun’s two major interest areas are agriculture and social entrepreneurship. He has experience in these areas having worked in this space for over twenty years. He is associated with the BASIX group as well as several NGOs.


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