FOUNDING BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Liesl Eisenbeiss, Founding Board Member and President. Liesl has a long standing desire to find creative and meaningful ways of protecting wildlife and their habitats. Liesl has experience in private wealth management as well as management experience in a significant family business. She has an undergraduate degree in History of Art from Brown University and graduate degrees in German History and Photography.
Richard Azarnia, Co-Founding Board Member. Richard is deeply committed to putting his private sector entrepreneurial background to good use in addressing pressing climate change challenges. He has solid experience in setting up enterprises, managing family businesses, private wealth and business consulting in the USA, France and Germany. Richard has an undergraduate degree in History from Brown University, as well as graduate degrees in Law and Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
Rebecca Symington, Executive Director. (Paris) Prior to Mlinda, Rebecca managed development and humanitarian programmes with NGOs and the United Nations. She travelled extensively while being based in London, Paris and New York and lived in Rwanda, Former Yugoslavia and Uganda while working for the United Nations. Rebecca has an undergraduate degree in History with African and Asian Studies from the University of Sussex, a Masters degrees in African History from London’s School of Oriental and Africa Studies and London School of Economics and a Public Administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Col Vijay Bhaskar, Country Director. (Kolkata) Col Bhaskar has a leadership background in the Army Corps of Engineers and held a number of senior posts in the Indian military. On leaving the army, he did an MBA before going on to specialise in renewable energies, developing solar, hydroelectric and wind energy projects in the private sector. Col Bhaskar holds BSc and BTech from the College of Military Engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Pune, an MSc from the Defense Services Staff College, Madras University Wellington, and an MBA degree from Indian School of Business Hyderabad, India.
Sudeshna Mukherjee, Deputy Country Director. (Kolkata) Sudeshna’s background is working with marginalised groups in West Bengal, India. She has managed a range of programmes focusing on grass roots community-based participatory planning and building partnerships between the private and public sectors with communities. She has a postgraduate degree in Sociology specialising in rural societies. from Kolkata University and Post Graduate Diplomas Rural Development from IGNOU, New Delhi, Human Resource Development from National Institute for Labour Education, Chennai.
In addition to Vijay and Sudeshna, the Mlinda India team is composed of one Operations Manager, two community development field officers, one engineer field officer and one administration officer, all based in Kolkata with frequent travel to the Sundarbans. Their full profiles will be uploaded by the end of in April 2013.
Mlinda has an India-based team of avisors comosed of the following individuals:
Anurag Danda has been working in the Sundarbans since 1998, initially examining the competing interests and contradictions that are at play in the eco-region and the reasons that give rise to these competing interests and contradictions. Since 2005, Anurag has been working to address some of these inherent contradictions. During this period Anurag has written intermittently drawing from experiences in the Sundarbans. Indian Sundarbans Delta: A Vision is his latest co-authored work published by WWF-India in 2011.
Pradeep Gooptu is an financial and technical analyst and writer who contributes and guides publications on logistics, innovation and intellectual property rights (IPR). He has in the past served as Head of Corporate Communication of CESC Ltd., one of India’s largest power utilities with the unique distinction of operating thermal power plants earning carbon credits. Before this, he was for eight years the Resident Editor of the east Indian editions of Business Standard, the premium Indian business newspaper, published in English and Hindi. His areas of specialisation were logistics, infrastructure and IPR. After starting his career in The Economic Times ( India’s leading business newspaper), he steered the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry as secretary when the Indian economy was being opened up and liberalized in the late 1990s.