Saraswathi Rao is Chief Executive Officer of Freedom from Hunger India Trust, based in NewDelhi. She is a senior-level development professional with more than two decades of experience in working on development issues including food and nutrition security, women and land rights and primary education and gender. Ms. Rao has practical experience in developing program strategies, evolving systems and processes that promote community participation and sustainability, establishing linkages with development agencies, training of development functionaries and senior level government officials, carrying out program audits and developing corporate relationships to raise funds. As part of her previous assignment with a German-based NGO, she has led a national level flagship program on food and nutrition security and served as a lead of the social inclusion sector. Ms. Rao has a Masters in Social Work from Chennai University. In her current position, she supports the India Trust for promoting, developing and implementing economic and social development strategies and programs to alleviate chronic hunger and poverty in India and further provides overall leadership to achieve its long-term objectives. She is also a founder director of “AHP – Action on Hunger & Poverty Foundation” a Section 8 non-profit and serves in the board of “Civil Society Academy Trust”.
AMULYA RATNA NANDA
Indian Administrative Service (retd.) Population Program Expert
Mr. Nanda is a post- graduate in Political science from Allahabad University, India and in Population Growth Studies from University of Wales, Cardiff, UK. Mr. Nanda started his career as a lecturer of political science, Utkal University. He also served the Indian revenue services from 1964-65, and Indian Administrative service from 1965-2002. From 2002-2010, he was the executive director of population foundation of India. He has also undertaken many central government assignments. To name a few he was the Census Commissioner 1989-1994 & initiated the process of 1st National Family Health Survey in India. Also served as a Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (Department of Family Welfare) from 1999 to 2002 wherein he played a key role in formulation of National Population Policy, 2000 and its further operationalization, & expedited the roll out of “National Family Health Survey-2”.
Ms. Das, holds a post-graduate degree in (1) Economics from University of Madras (2) Regional Planning (School of Planning, Ahmedabad). Apart from this also attended advance courses/Training organized by (1) Economic Institute, U.S.A, (2) Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University, U.S.A (3) Women’s World Banking, U.S.A. Currently, Managing Director, Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth, also holding the position of CEO, Friends of Women’s World Banking India since April, 2013. She also has been the Member of various World Bank and DFID missions in the capacity of gender and micro finance specialist. Provided consultancy services in the areas of livelihoods and micro finance to various national and international agencies. Currently, Ms.Das is serving as the member of the following organizations- Board of Trustees of Indian School of Microfinance for Women, Governing Board of Access Development Services & Assist, Advisory Group, Microfinance India, and Board of trustee Freedom from Hunger. She is also acting as the Director of Cashpor Micro Credit, Varanasi, Utkarsh Micro Finance Pvt.Ltd, Varanasi, Invest India Micro Pension services Pvt.Ltd.
CEO – Grameen foundation India
Ms. Savyasaachi, with 25 years of experience in the Livelihood & Microfinance sectors, currently serves as National Head— State Initiatives of MFIN, the national association and self-regulatory organisation for NBFC-MFIs, and a platform for all legal forms operating in the space of Financial Inclusion, including banks and small finance banks. She has worked extensively on corporate laws and capital markets; has designed and promoted people-friendly and sustainable organizational forms; and has played a significant role in developing a draft law for the microfinance sector, and has taken it forward to policymaking bodies. Ms. Savyasaachi has intensively engaged with microfinance practitioners, their investors, and lenders on risk identification, strategy formulation and development of review plans for dealing with an everchanging internal and external environment. As part of her association with the IBSA platform (India, Brazil and South Africa) in South Africa and practitioners, the National Association and policymakers, she was involved in evaluating the progress on Financial Inclusion and designing the necessary interventions.
GOPI GOPALA KRISHNA
Founder & President – World Health Partners
Gopi Gopalakrishnan has three decades of experience in implementing large-scale service-delivery programmes in low-resource settings. He founded WHP in 2008 and Janani, an internationally renowned non-profit organization devoted to providing child and reproductive health services, in Bihar, in 1995. Gopi’s network management strategies have been widely noted as some of the most effective methods of addressing the great unmet need for health and reproductive health of poor communities. Gopi has been recognized widely for his contributions to service delivery and has won many national and international awards. In India, he has intensively engaged with the public sector for advocating policy support that will strengthen service delivery programs.
Head - State Initiatives -MFIN
SARASWATHI GOPALA RAO
CEO- Freedom From hunger India Trust
Prabhat Labh is an international development expert with over two decades of experience in leading programs and initiatives across Asia, Africa and North America. Prabhat brings deep domain knowledge in financial inclusion, enterprise development and livelihoods sectors. Prior to his move to Grameen Foundation India, Prabhat designed and led the portfolio of programs focused on access to savings services for low income populations at the MasterCard Foundation, Canada. Earlier, Prabhat was the Senior Technical Advisor for CARE USA’s pan- Africa microfinance initiative ‘Access Africa’, where he provided technical assistance to over a dozen country programs across Asia and Africa. Prior to CARE, Prabhat served on the faculty of Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, where he focused on development of youth-led micro enterprises and rural industries. Prabhat is a Post Graduate from the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal and holds a Bachelor's Degree with Honours in Statistics. Prabhat has undergone several specialized courses at institutions such as Harvard Business School, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern New Hampshire, International Training Centre of the ILO, Administrative Staff College of India and XLRI. He also serves on a number of advisory and investment committees, and is a regular speaker at global conferences.