Board of Advisors

Ambassador T P Sreenivasan

T P Sreenivasan is a former Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Governor for India of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He served in the Indian Foreign Service for 37 years with postings in Washington, New York, Tokyo, Thimphu, Yangon, Kenya, Fiji and 8 other South Pacific Island states. He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India and Vice-Chairman of Kerala State Higher Education Council.

P K Hormis Tharakan, IPS (Retd)

Hormis Tharakan, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Kerala cadre (1968 batch), was Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India's external intelligence agency, from February 1, 2005 to January 31, 2007. He was also the Director General of Police of the state of Kerala, India.

Prof (Dr) G Gopa Kumar

Professor Dr. G Gopa Kumar retired as the Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod and was former Head, Department of Political Science, Kerala University. A leading political scientist and psephologist, he specialises in the areas of International Relations, Comparative Politics and Indian Politics. He has published 12 books and over 145 research articles. He is a UGC-Emeritus Fellow and a recipient of numerous international and national awards and Fellowships including the Fulbright Fellowship twice in 1998 and 2002.

P R Devi Prasad, IES (Retd)

P R Devi Prasad is an Indian Economics Service (IES) officer of the 1982 batch and former Advisor to the Government of India. He has also functioned as Advisor to the Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF). Presently, he is a Research Fellow at the Civil Service Officers Training Centre at Mussourie (LBSNAA), Uttarakhand.

Sandip Ghose

Strategic Advisor (Organisational Development)

Sandip Ghose is a Business Leader, with over three decades of experience in senior leadership roles across industries - ranging from Consumer Goods (FMCG), Media, Cement and Jute. A Chartered Accountant by qualification, he joined Hindustan Lever (as it was then called) as Management Trainee in 1983.
Sandip was Chief Operating Officer of Birla Corporation, the flagship company of MP Birla Group, where his contribution in the transformation of Birla-Corp is widely acknowledged in the industry and the investor community. Prior to that, he was with Lafarge India as Country Sales Director. He had a 19-year long career with Hindustan Unilever, where he progressed on the fast-track gaining exposure across functions and businesses and went on to become Country Head and Managing Director of Unilever Nepal.
He also had an exciting stint in media, first with the ABP Group (as SBU Head of The Telegraph newspaper and Businessworld Magazine) and subsequently with HT Media Limited, where he was responsible for the launch of Hindustan Times & Mint newspapers in Mumbai. Sandip has eclectic interests. A prolific commentator on current affairs, he is an invited columnist in several publications, a frequent speaker and ICF-accredited Leadership and Life Coach, and he is passionate about mentoring and developing leaders for the future.

Dr Parth J Shah

Dr Parth is an active public policy propagator in India and the President of Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi. His research and advocacy work focuses on the themes of economic freedom, choice and competition in education, property rights approach for the environment and good governance. He holds a PhD in Economics from Auburn University.

Prof Shantha Sinha

Prof Shantha Sinha is former Chairperson of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights. She is a globally renowned anti-child labour activist and winner of the Magsaysay Award 2003. She founded the Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation (MV Foundation) and is also Professor in the Department of Political Science at Hyderabad Central University.

Prof K C Abraham

Prof K C Abraham retired as Professor of Political Science from the Department of Economics at Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, Kerala. He is an orator and writer of contemporary regional and national political and social issues and also serves as the Academic Director at CPPR.

Susan Zielinski

Susan Zielinski is former Managing Director of Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation (SMART), which is a project of the University of Michigan. She co-founded and directed Moving the Economy (MTE), a Canada-wide ‘link tank’ that works to catalyse and support sustainable urban transportation innovation. She has over 15 years of experience in transportation initiatives and policies.

Dr W Lawrence S Prabhakar

Dr. Lawrence Prabhakar Williams is Author, Researcher & Professor, International Relations & Strategic Studies, Formerly with the Department of Political Science, Madras Christian College. His books are Growth of Naval Power in the Indian Ocean Region: Dynamics and Transformation (2016), The Maritime Balance of Power in the Asia-Pacific: Maritime Doctrines and Nuclear Weapons At Sea (2006), Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean Region: Critical Issues of Debate (2008).
His research fellowships have been at IDSS & RSIS Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2004-07); The Fulbright Fellowship at University of Michigan Ann Arbor (1996); Policy Research Fellowships at The Henry Stimson Center, Washington DC (2001) & Center for Naval Analysis ,USA (2001).
Other research assignments have been with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC; Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Hawaii (2003); Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra (2007); Near East South Asia Center-National Defense University, Washington DC 2009-2012; Consultant, Net Assessment Directorate, IDS, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi (2001-04). Adjunct Professor & PhD Supervisor Naval War College, INS Mandovi; China Studies Centre, IIT-Madras
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Alex Thomas

Alex Thomas is the Managing Director of Tierra Food India Pvt Ltd. He co-founded Neptune Readymix Concrete Private Limited in 2003, which was later on acquired by RDC Concrete. Alex has also been active in various industry associations and in many missions of public interest and local development like Vyttila Mobility Hub.

Advisors (Special)

Dr Shakila T Shamsu

Advisor (Special), Education Policies

Dr Shakila Shamsu was formerly OSD (New Education Policy), in the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (MoE). She has been the Secretary to the Committee to Draft National Education Policy. She was also the Nodal Officer of the flagship Government of India (GoI) Scheme of National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (NMTT). New initiatives of Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP), Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT) and Faculty Induction Programmes were implemented during her tenure.
Prior to this, she held senior positions such as OSD (XII Plan) in MoE and Joint Adviser (Education) in the Planning Commission. Her core areas cover education planning and policy making, teacher education, ICT and Open & Distance Learning and inclusive education. Her academic career spans over 39 years in teaching and academics in the University of Mumbai and IGNOU and over 14 years in the GoI.
She holds a PhD in Education, Gold Medalist for Masters of Political Science, PG Diploma in Distance Education and a Degree in Law. She has to her credit a number of articles in international journals, book contributions and was involved in the preparation of XI and XII Plan and several government reports on education. She has been a member of various Committees of the GoI, State Governments, UGC, USIEF National Selection Committees for Fulbright fellowships, etc.

Dr Madhu P Pillai

Advisor (Special), Industry & Energy

Dr Madhu P Pillai is a Project Management specialist with more than 34 years of broad-based Oil & Gas, Petrochemical and Power industry experience in Operations and Project Management in India, Nigeria, USA, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He has been associated with leading multinational organisations as Projects Director. Dr Pillai serves on the board of International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC) as Executive Director. He is the Honorary Global Ambassador for World Project Management Forum (WPMF) and the Chairman of Global Youth Climate Award of WAFA–Denmark. Dr Pillai had served on the International Director Board of AACEI as Regional Director (Asia, Europe & Africa) and as Vice President (International Regions). He had also served on the International Board of Project Managers Without Borders.
Dr Pillai is an Engineer with post-graduation in Management and PhD in Strategic Project Management. He is a Fellow of many leading international organisations like AACEI, ICEC, Institution of Engineers, etc. Dr Pillai was presented with the OT Zimmerman Founder’s award by AACEI in 2008 for his contribution to the Global Cost Management Professional Community.

Raj Cherubal

Advisor (Special), Urban Governance & City Development

Raj Cherubal is the CEO, Chennai Smart City Limited. He is also Director-Projects for Chennai City Connect (CCC). At CCC, he has facilitated various projects on traffic, sustainable transportation and urban planning focused on pedestrians and pedestrianisation, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and integrated, multi-modal public transportation, sustainable solid waste management, restoration of urban water bodies, sustainable financing of urban infrastructure, redevelopment of business district and regional planning.
He has written and worked to promote decentralisation and good urban governance. Also to promote economic freedom for entrepreneurs, especially poor like street vendors and others in the informal sector and for their recognition as profit seeking entrepreneurs. He holds an MS in Physics from the University of Louisville and an MS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has worked in the software industry in areas like computational physics, visualisation, telecom and finance..

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