Governing board


Kiran Karnik

Kiran Karnik is the former President of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the premier organisation that represents and sets the tone for public policy for the Indian software industry. He has also served as Managing Director of the Discovery Network in India, Founder-Director of the Consortium for Educational Communication and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Kiran took over as the Chairperson of Oxfam India Board on August 27, 2010. He is on numerous government committees and is currently member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and Central Employment Guarantee Council. He also chairs the International Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Connects Programme. Awarded Padma Shri in 2007 and Data Quest IT Person of the Year award in 2005, he was recognised as one of the 'Stars of Asia' by Business Week in 2004 and 'Face of the Year' by Forbes magazine in 2003. In 1998, the International Astronautical Federation awarded him with the Frank Malina medal for space education. A post-graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Karnik holds an honours degree in physics from Mumbai University.

Vice Chairperson

Mridula Bajaj

Mridula Bajaj is a specialist in child development with more than three decades of experience in programme, research and training. She is currently Executive Director of Mobile Creches, an NGO that works with children on construction sites. She took over as the Vice Chairperson of Oxfam India Board in August 2010. She was a member of the Steering Committee for the 10th Five Year Plan and has served on the Expert Committee to evaluate proposals and field inspection under experimental and innovative education projects by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Education. She has done extensive work in the area of empowerment of women and child development. Mridula holds a Masters degree in Science in Child Development from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University.

Board Member

Ammu Joseph

Ammu Joseph is an independent journalist and author based in Bangalore, writing primarily on issues relating to gender, human development and the media.

She began her career in Mumbai in the mid-1970s; in her last full-time job within the press she edited the Sunday magazine of The Indian Post in the mid-80s. Since then she has been contributing to a number of mainstream newspapers and magazines as well as web-based media. She also has six books to her name. Ammu has also contributed chapters to several other books, besides writing and/or editing a number of other publications, both Indian and international. She has been on the visiting faculty of several institutions of media education and involved in several media-related research projects.

She received the UNFPA-LAADLI Media Award for Gender Sensitivity in 2007 in recognition of her consistent engagement with gender issues. In 2003 she received the Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, USA. She is a founder-member of the Network of Women in Media, India.

Board Member

Somasekhar Sundaresan

Somasekhar Sundaresan is a partner with J. Sagar Associates, a national law firm in India and heads the firm's securities law and financial sector regulatory practice. He has extensive experience and expertise in advising clients in the area of foreign investment, banking and financial institutional sector, mergers and acquisitions, particularly, those involving listed companies. He has advised a number of banks, securities issuers, merchant bankers, stock brokers, mutual funds, fund managers, foreign institutional investors, non-banking financial companies, stock exchanges, securities depositories, and other financial services intermediaries. In addition to his private practice, he is actively involved in public policy and regulatory affairs in India's financial sector.

Board Member

Neelam Deo

Neelam Deo is a 1975 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer who served as India’s Ambassador to Denmark and Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), with concurrent accreditation to Sierra Leone, Niger & Guinea.

She began her career with the IFS in Italy in 1977. Her subsequent postings included responsibility as a political and press officer in Thailand. In the Ministry of External Affairs, she was Joint Secretary for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and for Maldives. Her last assignment was as Consul General in New York. During her assignment with the embassy of India in Washington DC liaison with the U.S. Congress, think tanks and universities in the U.S., on strategic issues were among her special responsibilities.

After serving 33 years in the IFS, she co-founded Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations in 2009. She is also a distinguished fellow with the Centre for Air Power Studies, and a member of the Advisory board of the Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund.

Neelam completed her Masters degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics. Prior to joining the IFS, she taught Economics at Kamla Nehru College, Delhi University. She has extensive knowledge and exposure on issues in Africa, South East Asia, India-U.S. bilateral relations, Bangladesh and other SAARC neighbours.

She is a frequent commentator on issues that involve India’s economic emergence, diaspora and global politics. Her articles have appeared in various publications – Gateway House, Newsweek,, Business Standard, Statesman, Mint and Pragati.

Board Member

Sutapa Banerjee

Sutapa Banerjee has spent close to 24 years in the financial services industry across 2 large multinational banks (ANZ Grindlays and ABN AMRO), and a boutique Indian Investment bank (Ambit) where she built and headed several businesses. A well recognized thought leader in the Wealth Management space having headed and successfully built from scratch the Private Wealth businesses in both ABN AMRO Bank and Ambit Capital, Sutapa was voted one of the ‘Top 20 Global Rising Stars of Wealth Management’ by the Institutional Investor Group in 2007 - the only Indian and one of only two winners from Asia. As CEO she led Ambit Private Wealth to ‘Best Private Bank in India in the 2013 AsiaMoney polls. In 2012 she was shortlisted in the ’50 most Powerful Women’ by Fortune India. Sutapa is an Advanced Leadership Fellow (2015) of Harvard University. Currently she consults in the Wealth and Investments Management area and serves as an Independent/Nominee Director on several boards of companies in the JSW Group, IL&FS Group, Women’s World Banking. Her area of study at Harvard was in the area of Responsible Investing and Business Practices and the use of a Gender Lens. She currently works, writes and speaks actively in this space.

Board Member

Sunil Verma

Sunil Verma has had 37 years of service with the Indian Audit & Accounts Service. He was associated with Ernst & Young as an advisor. He carried out consulting assignments with the Asian Development Bank (power sector), the International Labour Organisation (rural roads) and the India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (Monitoring & Evaluation Framework and Governance and Accountability Action Plan). He is currently working as member (finance) for the Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission. He is a frequent commentator on issues relating to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, the defence industry and the electricity sector.

Board Member

Santosh Desai

Santosh is the Managing Director and CEO of Future Brands Ltd. He was the President of McCann-Erickson, one of India’s premier advertising agencies. A post graduate from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, he has served on the boards of ING Vysya Bank, ACK Media limited, Future Consumer Products Limited, Breakthrough and Centre for Advocacy & Research (CFAR) and on the Governing Councils of Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad & Praxis Business School, Kolkata. He writes a weekly column for the Times of India and is author of Mother Pious Lady- Making Sense of Everyday India, a book that examines how the everyday life of middle class India has evolved.

Board Member

Anita Ramachandran

Anita is an Human Resource expert with over 35 years experience as a management consultant. She has been a strategic advisor to many family groups and SME companies. She has been the Chairperson of TIE Women and on the Executive committee of TIE Mumbai and earlier on the Advertising Standards Council of India. Anita is an independent Director on the board of Aditya Birla Retail, Geometric Ltd., Godrej & Boyce and Rane. Having won several academic honours, she is one of the first generation of women professionals to become an entrepreneur. She supports many organisations in the social sector through pro bono professional work and remains deeply committed to work with women.