Dr. Sanduk Ruit, Chairperson

Dr. Sanduk Ruit is a respected eye surgeon who was awarded Magsaysay Award in 2006 for his work to bring back eyesight of the poor in countries including Nepal, China, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia. In 2006, he and his team performed sight-restoring surgery in North Korea on over 1,000 patients in six days. He devised an affordable suture-less procedure that speeds cataract surgery and reduces patients’ recovery time. He is the Director Medical Director of the Tilganga Eye Centre that provides high quality eye treatments at a highly cheap cost to poor patients. In 2016, the Canada-based Albert Einstein Foundation nominated Dr Ruit as one of the 100 leading global visionaries. He was born in Olangchunggola, Taplejung.

Dr. Chandra Prasad Pokharel, Vice Chairperson

Dr. Chandra Prasad Pokharel, Faculty of Central Department of Botany Tribhuvan University, obtained his M.Sc. degree in Botany and MA in Anthropology from Tribhuvan University, and Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Science from Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. Dr. Pokhrel is Associate Academician at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and a member of the Climate Change Council, Government of Nepal.

Akhilesh Upadhyay, General Secretary

Akhilesh Upadhyay is the former Editor-in- Chief of The Kathmandu Post, serving from 2008 to July 2018. A prominent journalist in Nepal, Upadhyay is featured regularly as a commentator in national and international forums and media. His works have appeared in a number of international publications, including The New York Times, Indian Express and Outlook (both India) and Independent (Bangladesh), in addition to Nepali newspapers. He has authored/edited a number of books and reports, including for international organizations. He has written extensively on Nepal’s foreign policy, South Asia and geopolitics. As a Fulbright scholar, he obtained an MA in Print Journalism from New York University.

CA Sudarshan Raj Pandey, Treasurer

Mr. Sudarshan Raj Pandey is a senior partner at S.R. Pandey and Co. He has a B.Sc. from Tribhuwan University, Chartered Accountancy from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Diploma in Information System Audits from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He served as the President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) in 2011/12. He has also served as a board member in Security Exchange Board of Nepal (SEBON) in 2010/11 and as a Member of Banking and Insurance Committee of FNCCI. Earlier, he was a Member of Expert Committee of Inland Revenue Department (1999-2003), Member of IFRS Convergence Committee (Taskforce, 2008) and a Team member of High Level Tax System Review Commission, 2071. He has experience in both India and Nepal.

Sanjaya Bahadur Thapa, Member

Sanjay Bahadur Thapa is an architect and an urban designer based in Kathmandu. Presently he is engaged in the master planning and design of the SAARC University (SAU) in South Delhi. He is also engaged in pro bono work, collaborating with the 2014 Pritzker Prize laureate Shigeru Ban in providing shelter for the survivors of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and is assisting the Tilganga Eye Foundation in building an Eye Center in Thimphu, Bhutan. Previously, he has worked as an urban designer for the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the Planning and Economic Development Agency for the City of Boston. He was a project architect in the construction (and later extension) of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kathmandu, and a design/planning consultant in the preparation of Mizoram University Master Plan, India. He has a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Prof. Dr. Govinda Raj Pokharel, Member

Prof. Dr. Govinda Raj Pokharel is the former Vice Chairperson of the National Planning Commission of Nepal. He has over ten years of direct management experience as an executive director of various government institutions and NGOs, and over 20 years of experience in the academic field. He served for three years as the Manager at SNV Netherlands Development Organization based in various locations in South Asia. He was Professor at the Industrial and Mechanical Engineering Department at the Tribhuvan University. He has authored and co-authored numerous research papers on sustainable energy, climate change, policy, and technical aspects of renewable energy technologies and financing. Under his leadership, the Government of Nepal’s Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) was recognized as a focal point for promoting renewable energy in Nepal and access to renewable sources of energy in the country increased. He was born in Pyuthan.

Dr. Swarnim Wagle, Member

Swarnim Waglé is an economist who served as the 24th Vice-Chair, and Member, of the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the Government of Nepal for three years between 2014 and 2018. Dr. Waglé worked as an international development professional for more than 15 years on policy assignments in over 20 countries, most recently as Senior Economist at The World Bank in Washington, D.C. At UNDP, he co-authored the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South.” From 2002 to 2007, he co-led the UN’s Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Initiative. He serves on the Senate of Kathmandu University, and advises several non-profit organizations. Dr. Waglé holds a PhD in Economics from the Australian National University, an MPA in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard University, and BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics. He was born in Gorkha.

Prof. Govind Nepal, Member

Prof. Govind Nepal, Ph.D, a Professor of Economics at the Tribhuvan University, is Acting Chairman at a think-tank, Institute for Strategic and Socio-economic Research. Nepal held the position of Chief Economic Adviser (State Minister Level) to the Ministry of Finance, Government of Nepal. Prior to that, he was a Member of the National Planning Commission. In 2010, he coordinated the entire preparation process of 12th National Development Plan (2010/11-2012/13). In the same year, he led a multidisciplinary team of experts that prepared a concept paper on National Development Vision 2030 for Nepal. Prof. Nepal also led the preparation of MDG Needs Assessment for Nepal 2010m and was the lead author of the Government of Nepal’s National Report to Rio + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. He has provided consultancy services to many international/UN agencies including World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNDP in the areas of SDGs, energy, climate change, environment. Prof. Nepal has authored/co-authored four books in the areas of Welfare Economics, Development Planning, Poverty and Energy.

Mohna Ansari, Member

Mohna Ansari, a well-known rights activist, and Nepal’s only female attorney from the Muslim community, was appointed as one of the commissioners for the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) in October 2014. Before this appointment, Ms. Ansari was working as the Senior Advisor of IDEA International after successful completion of her four year term in the National Women Commission (NWC) in June 2014. Ms. Ansari has travelled and worked in more than 60 districts of Nepal to interact with the communities and to understand the complex legal, cultural and system issues that affect the rights and wellbeing of women, children and vulnerable groups in Nepal. She has presented papers on women and children issues in international forums. Ms. Ansari holds a Bachelor’s degree in law and a Master’s degree in Sociology. She also graduated a course on the “Human Rights and Peace Studies” conducted by South Asian Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR) in 2004.

Ragini Upadhyay, Member

One of Nepal’s noted and prolific painters and printmakers, Ragini Upadhyay is the former Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Fine Arts, the first female to assume the post. Her paintings, which mostly focus on the themes of gender, identity, and sexuality, with references to mythological narratives, is spread globally in the diverse public and personal collections, such as the Bradford Museum (UK), the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Nepal). She obtained a degree in painting from the Lucknow Arts and Crafts University, India, and was a fellow in the Peacock Printmaker and Oxford Printmaker, UK (fellowship by the British Council) and Kunste Akademy, Germany. She has over 63 solo shows and many national and international exhibitions to her credit. Since 2011, she is a member of BP Koirala India-Nepal Foundation. She is also the Director of Artist Proof Gallery in Kathmandu, and the former President of Women Artists’ Group of Nepal (WAGON). She was born in Kathmandu.

Suhrid Ghimire, Member

Suhrid Ghimire is the founder member and chairperson of the Nepal Eye Program, a non-profit, community-based, non-government organization officially launched in 1992 to support the prevention and control of blindness in Nepal and the South Asia region, and whose programs are implemented by the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. He is the founding chairman of Continental Group, one of Nepal’s premier business houses, member of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and has over 30 years of experience in different business sectors including General Trading, Engineering & Manufacturing. He is one of the major promoters of Global IME Bank Ltd and Mountain Energy Pvt Ltd. He is also the president of Nepal-Malaysia business council. An avid golfer, he has been the president of Gokarna Forest Golf Resort since 2009. He was born in Kathmandu.