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Our Team

Chief Executive: Ronak Shah ronak.shah@sevamandir.org

Ronak Shah has spent nearly twenty years in the development sector. After seven years with Seva Mandir, he started Udaipur Urja Initiative, a community-owned company, which he led as Chief Executive for four years. He rejoined Seva Mandir in 2018 as the Chief Executive. Ronak holds a Master's degree in Environmental Planning from the Centre of Environmental Planning and Technology, and a Master's degree in International Development (Environment and Development) from the University of Manchester.

General Secretary: Shailendra Tiwari shailendra.tiwari@sevamandir.org

Shailendra Tiwari has over thirty years of work experience in agriculture and natural resource development. He joined Seva Mandir in 1993 as the Coordinator for Forestry and Agriculture, and later became the head of the Natural Resource Management programme. Shailendra has been General Secretary since 2017. He holds an M.Sc. in Reproductive Biology from Gujarat Agricultural University.

About our team

Seva Mandir has over 400 full-time employees and over 1,000 village-based workers who are from the communities they serve. 59% of our staff are under 40. Our full-time employees hail from all over India; 32% of them are women. 30% of our staff are graduates, and 39% hold postgraduate degrees, including Masters in Social Work, Development Studies and Environmental Planning, and M.Sc. in Botany, Genetics and Plant Breeding, and Reproductive Biology. 247 members of staff are from Seva Mandir's work region.

Our employees' average length of service is 14 years, a remarkable testament to our team's dedication and belief in our mission. 141 current team members have worked for Seva Mandir for more than 10 years.

The Board of Trustees

President: Janat Shah janat.shah@iimu.ac.in

Professor Janat Shah is currently the Director of Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur. He was for twenty years professor of Production and Operations Management at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He is also Special Professor at Nottingham University Business School (UK) in the Operations Management division. He conducts management education programmes for executives in a number of companies. Janat is an alumnus of IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Mumbai and IIM (Indian Institute of Management), Ahmedabad.

Ajay S. Mehta

Ajay Mehta served as the Chief Executive of Seva Mandir from 1990-1999. He was the Executive Director, National Foundation for India (NFI) from 2001 to 2011, currently serves on the board of various organisations, is the president of the Vidya Bhawan Society, and has been active in several government committees. President of the Seva Mandir Board from 2003 to 2018.

Mohan Singh Kothari

Mr Kothari is a scientist and has been head of Engineering & Design in CSIR National Institutions, adviser for development and director for industrial and technical development, Government of Sikkim, chief consultant for industrial development in Punjab and founder General Manager of soybean project in Rajasthan. He was appointed a trustee by Seva Mandir's founder, Dr Mohan Singh Mehta.

Pamela Philipose

Ms Philipose has worked with the Times of India and other eminent newspapers such as the Sunday Observer, Eve's Weekly and the Indian Express. Until 2014, she was Director and Editor in Chief of Women's Feature Service. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Bhavani Ramanathapuram Vaidyanathan (co-opted)

Ms Vaidyanathan started her career as a banker with the State Bank of India and in 2000 moved to the development sector. She has degrees from IIT Bombay, Madras University and the London School of Economics. She is currently the project manager of the Research Programme Consortium on Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), based at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Chennai.

Rakhshanda Jalil (co-opted)

Rakhshanda Jalil is a well-known Indian writer, critic and literary historian. She is best known for her book on Delhi's lesser-known monuments, Invisible City: The hidden monuments of India and a well-received collection of short stories, Release & Other Stories. Her PhD on the Progressive Writers' Movement as reflected in Urdu literature was published as Liking Progress, Loving Change. Ms Jalil runs Hindustani Awaaz, an organisation devoted to the popularisation of Hindu-Urdu literature and culture.

Suraj Jacob

Suraj Jacob is a political economist affiliated with the Azim Premji University (Bengaluru). His interests lie in the fields of development policy, institutions, and social practices. His co-authored book Governing Locally will be published shortly. Suraj served as the Chief Executive Officer of Vidya Bhawan Society (Udaipur) from 2017-2019 and also worked with NGOs in India and the US.


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