Hemendra M. Kothari
Chairman, DSP Investment Managers and Founder, Wildlife Conservation Trust
Mr. Kothari, a veteran investment banker, is as well-known for his success in the financial world as he is for his immense contributions to the cause of environment and wildlife conservation in India. A nature lover at heart, he has remained committed to this passion and has guided many conservation organisations and State Wildlife Boards to success. He is the Chairman of DSP BlackRock Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd.; Founder, Chairman, and Managing Trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Trust; and Founder of the Hemendra Kothari Foundation which assists other NGOs in the areas of education, healthcare, art, culture, heritage and sports. He serves as a member of the Rajasthan State Board for Wildlife under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister and has also served on the Maharashtra State Board. Mr. Kothari is the Chairman of The Nature Conservancy’s India Advisory Board and also founder donor to the India Program.
Dr. Ajay Mathur
Director General, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI)
Dr. Mathur is known for his notable contributions in the area of climate change and energy efficiency. He is the Director General of The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI) and a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. He served as the Director General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the Government of India from 2006 to 2016 and launched several successful energy efficiency initiatives such as the Star Labelling programme for appliances, the Energy Conservation Building Code and the Perform, Achieve and Trade programme for energy-intensive industries. In the past, he headed the Climate Change Team of the World Bank in Washington DC and the interim Secretariat of the Green Climate Fund. He also served as the President of Suzlon Energy Ltd. A key climate-change negotiator for India, he was the country’s spokesperson at the 2015 climate negotiations in Paris.
Former Managing Director, Mahindra Lifespace Developers; Board member of Mahindra Susten & Mahindra Happinest, and TERI SAS
Ms. Arjundas, Managing Director of Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd., has blazed a trail in the real estate business where women are scarce, especially in leadership positions. She began her career at the Chennai-based Murugappa Group’s confectionery firm Parry after earning a degree in Business Management. Before joining the Mahindra Group in 2002, she taught at Ahmedabad’s MICA management school, worked in the IT industry for three years and in the consumer goods sector for 10 years. Currently, Ms. Arjundas is the President of the Real Estate Sector in Mahindra Group and a member of the Group Executive Board. She holds an MBA from BIM, India, and is a Wharton AMP alumna. She has figured in the Fortune India list of the 50 “Most Powerful Women in Business” for five consecutive years. Ms. Arjundas is passionate about the environment and has been instrumental in building sustainability in business practices. Under her leadership, Mahindra Lifespaces became the first real estate company in India to release its Sustainability Report, indicating the highest levels of disclosure and transparency.
Anjuly Chib Duggal
Former Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance
Ms. Duggal, a 1981 batch IAS Officer (Punjab cadre), recently retired as the Secretary of the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. In this role, she was an integral part of the Government’s efforts to speed up the resolution of Non-Performing Assets (NPA), to propel popularisation of a cashless payment system in India and to bring about consolidation in the public sector banking space. In the last decade, she has worked in the areas of finance and corporate affairs. She has served on the boards of the Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of India. She has also served as Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Ms. Duggal is a Fellow at LEAD International since 1993 and was also the Executive Director of LEAD India for two years. She was instrumental in getting LEAD India registered as an independent entity.
Professor of Sustainability, Azim Premji University
Dr. Nagendra is a professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University and a much-awarded urban and forest ecologist. She is passionate about research and teaching and has authored over 150 research publications. She has taught at multiple institutions and was a Hubert H Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor at Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. Dr. Nagendra has been awarded the Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar award for her research and practice on issues of urban commons, the Cozzarelli Prize with Elinor Ostrom from the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the Clarivate-Thomson Reuters India Research Excellence Award for her research on sustainability. She regularly writes for newspapers, magazines and science blogs and gives public talks to communicate the findings of her research to the public. Her book ‘Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future’ (OUP India, 2016) examines human-nature interactions in Bengaluru from the 6th century CE to the present and analyses the implications of such change for sustainability of fast-growing cities of the developing world.
Chairman, India, The Boston Consulting Group
Janmejaya Sinha is the India Chairman and member of The Boston Consulting Group’s Henderson Institute Innovation Sounding Board, which is dedicated to supporting, inspiring, and guiding upstream innovation at BCG. He has been a member of various committees set up by the Government of India, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and a committee for the expansion of digital payment platforms across India. He serves as the Chair of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Committee on Financial Inclusion & Digitalisation. In 2010, Mr. Sinha was named one of the top 25 most influential consultants in the world by Consulting Magazine. He is the co-author of Your Strategy Needs a Strategy and a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum, CII, IBA, FICCI, RBI, and other media events.
Mr. P. S. Narayan
Head - Sustainability and Social Initiatives, Wipro Ltd; and Managing Trustee and Head – Wipro Foundation
Mr. P. S. Narayan has been instrumental in the creation of Wipro’s sustainability initiative and has stewarded it since its inception in early 2008. Wipro’s sustainability charter is built on the core principle that business and social purpose must reinforce each other in addressing several key challenges around ecology and education. In addition, Mr. Narayan is Visiting Faculty at the Azim Premji University where he teaches in the MA (Development) program. He is also Visiting Faculty at Xavier School of Sustainability, Xavier University, Bhubaneswar. Mr. Narayan conducts learning sessions regularly on Sustainability at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and Indore. He is involved in sustainability advocacy as a member of several industry forums. He is currently the Chairman of the Bangalore chapter of CII-Godrej Green Business Center. Prior to his current role, Mr. Narayan was the Global Head of Information Systems for Wipro’s IT business, when he was chosen as one of CIO’s global 25 Ones to Watch. A graduate in Electrical Engineering with a post-graduation in Management, Narayan has more than 27 years of cross-disciplinary experience in Business Development, Enterprise Systems and Corporate Sustainability.
R. Venkataramanan (Venkat)
Former Managing Trustee, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust
Mr. Venkataramanan, the Managing Trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, is responsible for the management and oversight of all Tata Trusts. He has over 20 years of experience in finance, business support and strategy. He was the Executive Assistant to Mr. Ratan Tata, the former Chairman of the Tata Group. Before joining the Tata Group, he has served as the Head of Business Support at the Qatar Foundation (a non-profit based in Doha), worked with Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd., Mumbai (VSNL), and the Gujarat State Finance Corporation. Mr. Venkataramanan holds an MBA degree from the Sri Satya Sai University, Law degree from Mumbai University, as well as an Advance Management Program (AMP) degree from the Harvard Business School. He is a Board Member of Air Asia India Pvt. Ltd., as well as a trustee of several Tata Trusts and Foundations which support various social and environmental causes.
Managing Director, General Atlantic
Mr. Rastogi is a Managing Director at the General Atlantic and focuses on investments in the firm’s Financial Services, Healthcare, and Consumer sectors in India and Asia-Pacific. Mr. Rastogi has served as a Principal at Apax Partners and a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company. He serves on the board of several organisations such as Capital Foods, IIFL Wealth Management, Absolute Barbeque, House of Anita Dongre, Karvy Fintech Pvt. Ltd., KIMS Hospital and Rubicon Research. He is the Director at IIT Bombay Development and Relations Foundation; Governing Body Member of Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay; and Trustee of Swasth Foundation. Mr. Rastogi holds a management degree from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a masters in nanotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology.
Former Vice Chairman, CEO & MD, Tata Consultancy Services
Former Chairman, National Skill Development Agency (NSDA)
Mr. Ramadorai, recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, is the former CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services and former Chairman National Skill Development Agency (NSDA). He is also the Chairman of Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. and Tata Technologies Ltd. He continues to be an Independent Director on the Boards of Hindustan Unilever Limited, Asian Paints Limited and Piramal Enterprises Limited. Mr. Ramadorai also serves as the Chairman on the Council of Management at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), is Chairman of the Governing Board at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and President of the Society for Rehabilitation of Crippled Children (SRCC). He has received The Economic Times – Lifetime Achievement Award for his glorious contributions to Tata Consultancy Services as well as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to Indo-British economic relations. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Delhi University, a degree in Electronics Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of California, USA, and has attended the senior leadership program at Sloan School at MIT. He is involved through various foundations, trusts and philanthropic organisations from Health Education, Skills and Livelihoods for social impact at scale.
Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy India
Seema Paul, Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy India, is passionate about making a difference to the future of people and the planet. As an entrepreneurial executive, she has translated concepts into organisations and programme strategies into impactful public policies in energy, climate change and ecosystems conservation. She has worked across philanthropies, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs and media; and has managed programme portfolios totaling more than $120 million over her career. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Seema was the Vice President at Climate Works Foundation and Founder CEO of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing climate mitigation in India. She has also served as Programme Director for Biodiversity at Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation. An alumna of St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, University of Maryland, U.S., and INSEAD, France, Seema is passionate about leading non-profit start-ups, setting vision and implementing strategy. She lives in New Delhi with her two daughters and travels frequently across India and around the world for work and pleasure. In her free time, she likes to read and explore nature and history through books, site visits and collecting vintage memorabilia. She has a passion for the arts.
Director of Programmes
Kunal Sharma oversees The Nature Conservancy India’s conservation portfolio and leads the programme teams by providing strategic guidance to conservation goals and objectives. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, he was head of the Climate Policy Programme at the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation. In his eight years with Shakti, he led the development of the programme’s grant portfolio and provided strategic guidance on numerous projects spanning low carbon development, mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants and air quality management. Kunal managed working relationships with officials at several Ministries and State Government Departments. His previous professional experience includes working at Abt Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., where he contributed to several analytic assessments in support of EPA regulations and initiatives. He also has six years of experience in the private sector. Kunal graduated from Yale University with a dual Master’s in Environmental Studies and Economics. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Hindu College, Delhi University. In his free time, Kunal likes to play field hockey, go on hikes, and try out new recipes in the kitchen.
Director of Finance & Operations
Robin Gusain is a qualified Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary and MBA (Finance) with more than 14 years of experience in finance, internal audit, management reporting, grants and risk management functions. At The Nature Conservancy India, he oversees Finance, Legal, Human Resources and Operations. He played a key role in ensuring The Nature Conservancy was legally registered in India. In the past, he has served as the Finance Director at Room to Read for two years and an Internal Auditor at the Aga Khan Foundation for six years. Robin has extensive experience in handling matters relating to regulatory compliance with respect to Income Tax Act, FCRA, Companies Act, Accounting Standards and more. He has also successfully monitored and executed long-term projects funded by international organisations, agencies and donors such as the European Commission, CIDA, DFID, USAID and UNICEF. Robin is a committed father to two daughters and plans to devote his retirement to a brighter tomorrow for the next generation of girls in India.
Aditi Khurana is a management graduate as well as a qualified homoeopathic doctor with over eight years of work experience in the private and development sector. She specializes in business development and fundraising. She leads The Nature Conservancy’s fundraising efforts in India with a focus on corporates, HNIs and foundations. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Aditi worked with Doctors Without Borders India where she was responsible for leading the Major Donor Fundraising channel. She started her career with Yes Bank Ltd., a private Indian Bank, after completing her post-graduation in Management in 2010. She is passionate about dance and loves to spend her free time learning the French language and reading.
Executive Assistant to MD
Amit Pathak is the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy India. He has over 20 years of experience in managing offices of executive leaders and administration management. He is an MBA with specialisation in Human Resources. He has worked in Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, where he managed the annual administration budget of Rs 4.5 crore independently in addition to ably running the CEO’s Office. A proactive team member, he has worked with the NV Group of companies, where he was the Executive Assistant to the Founder Chairman and Managing Director. He has worked in public, private and social sectors, including organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative. He is a nature lover and likes to travel to unexplored destinations in India.
Anwesha has more than 6 years of experience in the development sector, with a focus on advocacy. She strongly believes in the power advocacy has in creating deep socio-political impact. Her strengths lie in operations and relationship development, and she has been an integral part of several development initiatives with stakeholders in Ministries, NGOs, as well as INGOs. At The Nature Conservancy - India, she works as the Fundraising Coordinator. Her previous professional experiences include working with NCPEDP, DPI, Saksham, Carleton University and Matrix Cellular International. Anwesha is very passionate about the environment and nature, especially since she graduated from Woodstock School, Mussoorie. She has an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology from Carleton University. Anwesha lives in New Delhi with her father, and loves to explore various eateries with friends and family in her free time. Additionally, whenever she gets the chance she loves to travel to the hills as she is at her happiest when in natural and peaceful environments.
Project Associate, Narmada
Ashok Biswal is a passionate nature explorer and keen wildlife photographer who is rarely seen without a camera hanging from his neck. He enjoys capturing nature’s mysteries through his lens. He manages The Nature Conservancy India’s project on restoring River Narmada and is based out of the Divisional Commissioner’s office in Narmadapuram. He has travelled extensively in East India to research on flora, fauna and other conservation aspects of wetlands. These works are reflected in his three books – ‘Aquatic Plants of Eastern India’, ‘Glimpses of Biodiversity of Odisha’ and ‘Biological Diversity of Regional Plant Resources Center’. Ashok received his academic and professional training from the Wildlife Institute of India, Wildlife Conservation Society, Utkal University, Bharathiar University and Indian Institute of Forest Management. He is a field researcher at heart and spends any free time in the jungles exploring nature and capturing its beauty through photography.
Dhaval Negandhi is an Ecological Economist with The Nature Conservancy India and supports all programme teams in conducting economic analyses for conservation projects. He currently manages the projects on Renewable Energy and Reforestation by Design and Restoring River Narmada in the Central Indian Landscape. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Dhaval also worked with the Institute on issues related to ecosystem services, conservation finance and natural capital at the science-policy interface. He has been an integral part of research studies that have influenced national policies in India on forest and wildlife management including the Net Present Value of Forest Diversion in India, Forest Fiscal Federalism for the 14th Finance Commission of India and Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserves in India. He has a Master’s in Forestry Management from India and another Master’s in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from three universities across Europe. He is based out of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh where he lives with his wife and two children. He is passionate about travelling and cricket and spends his free time playing with his son and daughter.
Human Resources Manager
Divya is a seasoned HR professional who leads the Human Resources Function at The Nature Conservancy. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Divya has over a decade of experience of working as a Human Resource Business Partner with organizations like SoftwareONE, Pitney Bowes and IBM. She believes in creating impact that enables positive change. She is a self-starter and has to her credit some of the most disruptive solutions for complex business problems. Her forte lies in recognizing opportunities and tapping them as prospects. She aspires to evolve the Human Resources function with her experience and firmly believes in innovating for collaboration. She is a music lover, amateur singer and has a penchant for travel. She also has a deep interest in nature and loves to keep a track of global nature conservation efforts and movements. Divya did her post-graduation in Human Resources from School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL) and graduated as an Electronics and Communication Engineer from Apeejay College of Engineering (MDU, Rohtak).
Lands Project Manager
Karishma Vohra is a passionate sustainability professional with over five years of experience in forestry and agro commodities supply chains and circular economy practices for promoting environmental sustainability within business operations. She brings strong expertise in the areas of programmatic support and coordination, project management, stakeholder engagement, communication & outreach, primary and secondary research and documentation across cross-cutting environmental and sustainable developmental thematic areas. Her previous professional experiences include working with WWF-India, Emergent Ventures India and ETI Dynamics. She completed graduation in Biomedical Science from Delhi University post which, an avid interest in the issues of environmental conservation led her to pursue a Masters in Environmental Studies from TERI University. She has also completed an online diploma in Business Administration from Symbiosis. Karishma is a level I Reiki Practitioner and believes in creating positive contributions to the society not only through her work but also through interactions in personal life. She likes to spend her free time on deepening her connection with oneself and nature, practising yoga, travelling and learning new things.
Assistant Manager - Admin & Operations
Manmeet Singh is a Hotel Management Graduate with more than 10 years of experience in Travel Management, Vendor Management, Facility Planning and Corporate Events & meetings with Hospitality skills. Wherein he has managed multiple International events and Pan India travel and facilities. He has worked with Hike Messenger, Bharti Enterprises and The LaLiT Hotel. He has expertise in change management; setting up the processes and laying the foundation of corporate standards from scratch at multi locations with same feel and look. He has demonstrated excellence in handling multi-tasking activities in high-pressure environments. He loves to explore various cultural backgrounds. He is Skydive passionate and spends his vacation cycling, trekking and playing Badminton.
Project Head, Crop Residue Management
Manoj Singh is a post graduate in Agriculture with management background. He leads the crop residue management initiative of the Nature Conservancy in India. He is passionate and results driven professional having 18 years of strong experience in the agriculture sector. He has experience in project management, program designing and developing project strategies and action plans especially in the areas of resilient and conservation agriculture, community-based adaptation systems, inclusive value chain development, economic empowerment, market research and analysis, agro and rural enterprise development and developing Knowledge, Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (KMLE) systems. Before joining the Nature Conservancy, Manoj was National Project Coordinator in one of the largest Global Environment Facility-funded projects in the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations. He has worked across various development organizations, research institutions, and corporations in the area of agriculture and allied sectors such as Indian Agricultural Research Institute, GIZ, KPMG, Asian Development Bank, CARE India, etc. Manoj loves singing and passionate to work for nature. He also likes traveling to natural landscapes.
Nisha Priya Mani
Project Manager, Cities Program
Nisha has over 13 years of experience in various fields of environment management with expertise in water quality and solid waste management, environmental planning, management and assessment, resource conservation and policies on mitigation and adaptation to climate change. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Anna University, Chennai. As the Project Manager for Cities program, Nisha oversees the project on restoring Chennai’s wetlands. She works closely with multiple stakeholders including the City, State and Central Government and project partners to ensure project delivery. In the past, she has offered consultancy services to various sectors pertaining to environmental management, regulatory compliance and obtaining statutory environmental clearances. She also worked for the Government of India in its preparation for the historical COP 21 on ‘Paris Agreement on Climate Change’ during her stint in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). Nisha loves spending time in nature and nurturing it all around her. She enjoys trekking, birdwatching, photography and listening to upbeat music.
Applied Freshwater Scientist
Roshni Arora is a budding ecohydrologist with a keen interest in nature and environmental conservation. In the past, she has worked with the Wildlife Institute of India on environmental impact assessment and biodiversity conservation projects with a focus on water resources. She has a Joint PhD in River Science from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and University of Trento, Italy through the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Program. She also has a Masters in Environmental Management from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. After completing her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany. Her primary research interests lie in exploring the processes interlinking ecological and hydrological functioning of rivers and multiple stressor impacts on freshwater ecology. Most recently, in her role at Wildlife Institute of India, she has worked with TNC-India team on the e-flows assessment for River Ganga. Roshni likes to learn new things, read detective novels, solve logical puzzles, do yoga, travel with her husband and dance hip-hop to refresh herself.
Sagar R. Mysorekar is a geographer and heads The Nature Conservancy India’s GIS program. He has over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions using GIS and related technologies. He started his career with TNC’s Arkansas chapter as a GIS Intern and later became a GIS Manager for the Michigan and Great Lakes chapter. After leaving The Nature Conservancy in mid-2013, Sagar joined a start-up, Quantta Analytics, as Head GIS Services in India where he handled delivery and operations. He led conceptualization, configuration, and development of revenue generating Location Analytics business using Open Source technologies, managing diverse team of data researcher, data scientists, data engineers, and GIS experts to deliver 100+ projects ranging from banking, NBFC, healthcare, retail, and utility domains. Sagar is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Some of his work has been published in reputed scientific journals. Sagar enjoys yoga, watching birds, football, and reading books related to history and mythology.
Senior Applied Scientist
Shivaprakash K.N has a decade of research experience working in tropical forests of Western Ghats, India. He has worked on range of research topics from species distribution modelling to conservation genetics of tropical forest tree species. His diverse research projects have contributed to the better understanding of ecology and evolution of tropical forest vegetation in Western Ghats and impact of harvesting on forest tree genetics resources. He presently conducts his own research in areas such as community ecology, biogeography, comparative phylogenetics and population genetics. One of his research areas also focusses on integrating multiple components of biodiversity such as taxonomic, functional and evolutionary diversity to identify key biodiversity areas which preserves high species diversity as well as provide maximum ecosystem services.
His training is in conservation genetics, biogeography and community ecology, with a PhD from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Before joining TNC-India team, he was a bridging postdoctoral fellow and worked as a research associate at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru, India. In his free time, Shiva likes to read Sci-Fi novels, writes poems, go on hiking and field camping.
Applied Freshwater Scientist
An engineer, social scientist and conservationist, Shuchi's interest area is the science-policy interface in freshwater conservation. She graduated from University of Oxford in 2018 where she read Water Science, Policy and Management. Her research at Oxford was on the effectiveness of water allocation policy decisions in the Mara river basin in Kenya. Prior to Oxford, she worked with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on urban water management and multi-stakeholder river basin organisations in the Ganges basin. She is a gold medallist from TISS-Mumbai and has worked with Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd as a Supply Chain Team Lead.
Forestry and Land Use Manager
Sunpreet is an applied researcher, with over 10 years of experience in forestry, natural resource, livelihoods, climate adaptation, and renewable energy projects. She has expertise in project management, policy reviews, program implementation, action research, and monitoring & evaluation (M&E); with a sound understanding of technical, social and institutional issues. She has extensively worked with multi-disciplinary teams on M&E of a variety of cross-cutting projects. Working with rural communities, she has closely worked with local institutions, local & national NGOs, and central & state governments. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, she dabbled in nurturing a start-up Nuvo Environmental and Rural Development Solutions (India) Private Limited, where she handled project delivery and operations. Her pre-entrepreneurial experience comprises leading the NRM team at InsPIRE Network for Environment (formerly Winrock International India), and working in the Performance Team at Global Environment Facility/The World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Office. She started her career with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, coordinating India’s submission under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. She has a few publications on forestry and applied research to her credit. Sunpreet is an alumna of Gargi College and a silver-medallist in her Masters in Environmental Management from the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal. She is also a recipient of the IIFM’s inaugural Budding Researcher’s Award 2009. She nurtures a passion for travelling and exploring the world. In her free time, she enjoys writing, experimenting with craft work, and playing board games.
Program Lead, India Lands Program
Sushil Saigal has over 25 years of experience of working on issues related to climate change, conservation and natural resources management. As the Lands Program Lead at The Nature Conservancy India, Sushil oversees the organisation’s portfolio of land conservation projects. He has led the development of the organisation’s strategies for climate change mitigation through natural climate solutions as well as its work in the Central Indian Highlands. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy India, he worked in leadership positions with USAID Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-PLUS) Programme, Winrock International India, International Institute for Environment and Development, and Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development. Sushil has authored/edited five books and several papers on forestry, conservation, and climate change issues. Sushil has completed three Master’s degrees: MBA (IIFM), MSc Forestry at the University of Oxford, U.K., and an MPhil in Environment & Development at the University of Cambridge, U.K. He was a Gates & ORS Scholar at Cambridge and holds a Ph.D in Political Ecology from the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. Sushil loves travelling to offbeat places, following current affairs and listening to Bollywood music.
Sushmita is an applied researcher - manager with a background in managing large scale trans-boundary freshwater, conservation and livelihood projects. She has worked on crafting common pool resource management institutions in the biodiversity-rich Eastern Ghats in India at Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), India; forest rights of tribal communities and mapping of cultural landscapes in the Western Ghats at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), India; strengthening water diplomacy through multi-stakeholder dialogues and joint research in the Ganga Brahmaputra Meghna basin of India and Bangladesh at International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), India, and grassroots diplomacy for conservation of Hilsa fish and livelihood of fisherfolk dependent on the same, across riverscapes in India and Bangladesh at the International Water Association (IWA), Netherlands. Sushmita is an alumna of Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi and Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Mumbai, and also graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Conservation Leadership. In her free-time she enjoys being outdoors: bird watching and tree-spotting. She loves to explore heritage, crafts, and textiles in her travels.
Alpana Jain is an environment, energy and climate change expert with several years of experience in the development sector. She oversees The Nature Conservancy India’s sustainable cities portfolio and manages two projects – Restoring Wetlands in Chennai and Urban Green planning for Coimbatore. In the past, she has worked with several technical partners and government institutions in India and the U.S. to develop, implement and enforce policies related to climate change. She also worked with the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and led the energy efficiency team to assist the Central and State Governments to robustly develop and implement their policies. An architect by training and a LEED accredited professional, she has also contributed extensively to research and development of green habitats. She provides guidance to the Resource Management Department of Lady Irwin College, Delhi University, and has collaborated with The Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, on projects and research. She is one of the founder directors of Kalpakrit Sustainable Environments Pvt. Ltd., an organisation that primarily works in sustainable habitats and policy. She spends her free time honing her amateur pottery skills, playing with her two daughters and dog and raising awareness about sustainable lifestyles.
Sushant is an experienced development professional with a wide-ranging experience in policy analysis, research, and programme implementation. Over the last nine years, he has worked in environment projects supported by national and international agencies such as USAID, JICA, World Bank, GIZ, Tata Trusts, and ICRISAT. As the Regional Coordinator of Forest-PLUS programme, he spearheaded forestry, grazing, institutional governance, NTFP, and clean energy interventions and training programmes in Madhya Pradesh. Recently, he served as a team member for institutional analysis of a forestry project in West Bengal and Sikkim. Sushant has also prepared state-level guidelines for selection of agencies for monitoring and evaluation of forestry works under compensatory afforestation. As a consultant to evaluate a large-scale livelihoods project, he prepared a series of case studies of eco-friendly practices implemented under the Madhya Pradesh District Poverty Initiatives Project. Sushant has extensive experience in building partnerships with forest officials, executed action research projects on conservation and livelihoods, and policy briefs and working papers. Sushant completed his Masters and Doctorate from the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.
Tara is a strategy & project management professional with 6 years of experience working at leading agricultural & FMCG multinational companies. Prior to consulting with TNC, she was working in the strategy team of Bayer CropScience on strategic projects such as developing a digital farming tool to give customised real time advice to Indian farmers, restructuring Bayer’s farmer advisory sales force and building awareness about the safe use of pesticides. She also worked as a Business excellence manager at Lakme Lever Pvt Ltd (Hindustan Unilever). Tara is an alumna of the Indian School of Business and an economics graduate of Cambridge University. In her free time, she writes poetry about endangered animals and nature.
Director of Development
Anita Schwartz is a seasoned professional with almost three decades of experience in fundraising, marketing and communications for non-profits. She heads The Nature Conservancy’s philanthropic efforts for India in the U.S. and U.K. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Anita worked as the Vice President of Development, Marketing, and Program Administration for Western Resource Advocates from 2004-2016. She has also worked at the Environmental Defense Fund where she managed fundraising efforts in a seven-state region in the US. She started her non-profit career at Conservation International in Washington, D.C., in 1990. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from American University, Washington, D.C., with a double major in literature and American studies. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, having secured an internationally-recognised professional credential for philanthropic fundraising executives. She has also completed a Certificate Program in Authentic Leadership at Naropa University, Colorado. Anita has a deep love for India, its cultural heritage and nature. She is an aspiring collage artist, avid reader and enthusiastic world traveler.
Associate Director of Philanthropy
Megan has over a decade of direct fundraising experience in increasingly elevated roles at several nonprofits in the US. Some of her development successes include a $20M capital campaign for a discovery museum in downtown Reno, and the development of the donor communications and stewardship programme at Direct Relief, where she managed a $1.5M major donor portfolio. Megan joined The Nature Conservancy in January 2017 as the Director of Philanthropy for the Nevada Chapter. She successfully rebuilt the philanthropy program, surpassing fundraising goals and guiding new marketing and community engagement strategies in the state. She joined The Nature Conservancy India in July 2018 and focuses on advancing philanthropy efforts in the US. Megan is a BA graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. She enjoys being outdoors – camping, hiking or trail running in the Sierras with her pet dog, as well as honing her artistic skills with painting and drawing.
India Program Advisor
Sara Mascola has more than a decade of conservation experience, developing and managing conservation projects across three continents. She is a mitigation expert and has led and advised a variety of initiatives for The Nature Conservancy, including research, scoping assessments, and strategy and project development. Most recently, she has developed the Great Plains Renewable Energy initiative, researched territorial planning in the Amazon, and co-lead TNC’s Mitigation Learning Network. She is currently an advisor for the India program, supporting program expansion and implementation. She also held roles developing and implementing TNC’s corporate engagement strategy. Before TNC, she worked in Peru as a Community Environmental Management Peace Corps Volunteer for 3.5 years. She has a Master of Science in Natural Resource Management from Virginia Tech and a Bachelors in Political Science from Clemson University. In her free time, she loves spending time in nature, hiking, camping, traveling, watching college football, and learning to cook and bake new foods.