Rita Thapa is widely recognized for her groundbreaking work in founding Tewa. She has over thirty years experience as a feminist educator and community activist, initiating and supporting institutions for women`s empowerment and for peace. Rita also founded and led (2001-2009) Nagarik Aawaz, an initiative for conflict transformation and peace-building in Nepal. In recognition of this exceptional "innovative contribution to the public good", Rita has received the rare honor of being named an Ashoka Fellow. She is known and appreciated around the world as an inspiring teacher and a resource person on feminist leadership, development and peace & conflict. She has extensive experience in building links among community, non-governmental, governmental, and academic institutions. She served as a past Board Member and Chair of the Global Fund for Women and the Urgent Action Fund, as well as on the Board of the Global Fund for Community Foundation (GFCF) and the South Asian Women's Fund (SWAF). In 2005, she was included in the 1000 Women for Peace nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Rita is currently a Sangat South Asia Core Group member.
Born and schooled in Nepal, Anil Chitrakar trained as an engineer and energy planner at the University of Rajasthan (India) and the University .of Pennsylvania (USA). He started his career as an energy engineer and continues to work on designing and spreading these solutions across Nepal. He has received the Ashoka fellowship, the Rolex Award and more recently the Silicon Valley Tech Award for his work. Anil is also engaged in recovering and restoring the built and living heritage in the Kathmandu valley and across Nepal, particularly Lumbini. Anil was part of the team that implemented the National Conservation Strategy for Nepal, preserving its globally unique natural endowment. Anil has also managed venture funds for environmental groups all over Nepal. In 1993 he was one of the 100 “Global Leaders for Tomorrow” awardees at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Arzu Rana Deuba, PhD
Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba was born in 1962. She graduated from St. Bedes College, Himachal Pradesh University. She obtained her Masters degree from Punjab University. She also obtained her Ph.D in organizational Psychology in 1990 from Punjab University India. As a Nepalese politician and a social worker she is also a member of Nepalese Constituent Assembly from Nepali Congress. Apart from politics, she is actively involved in running numerous social organizations and has a special interest in the empowerment of women in Nepal. Dr. Deuba was elected as regional councillor of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) during its fourth world congress held in Barcelona, Spain in October 2008. Dr. Deuba is the first candidate to be elected from Nepal in IUCN's highest decision-making body.
Chandni Joshi is the former regional Program Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in the South Asian Region. Using a rights-based approach, she has successfully brought the voices of women to policymakers at the national, regional and global levels. She has lobbied on behalf of women and their families at major international conferences including the Earth Summit in Rio (1992) and the Fourth World Conference in Beijing (1995). A Nepali national, she previously served in high-level government positions including her role as Joint Secretary and Chief of the Women Development Division at the Local Development Ministry of Nepal. Creating a space for women in the development dialogue, Joshi has, since 1981, worked to give a voice to the disadvantaged and marginalized groups like tribal women, peasant women, migrant women workers, survivors of trafficking and violence, home-based workers, positive women, and women in conflict and disaster situations. Responding to increased feminized poverty and women's amplified vulnerabilities to violence, trafficking, unsafe migration, and HIV/AIDS, Joshi promotes convergence and a gender equality perspective.
Ganga Dutta Awasti
Ganga Datta Awasthi was born in 1950 in Darchula district. He holds MA in Economics, Bachelor of Law, and Diploma in Development from the UK. He has worked in government service for more than 35 years in various positions fom administrative structures to Secretary-level of Government of Nepal. His areas of specialisation are decentralisation and local governance; community development; urban and rural governance and development; and, gender and development. He has been serving as an Advisor of Tewa since its establishment. Apart from that, he also is the Chair Person of Support Foundation (a NGO based in Far-western Region); Acting President of Center for Empowerment Innovation and Development Ltd (a research and development institute); and Board Member of Institute of Governance and Development (a NGO at National level).
Ms. Lalita Thapa, Currently heading the consultancy company: Development Resource and Training Centre (DRTC) also a Thematic Leader of Result Based Management, Capacity Development, Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. She possess more than 30 years of experience working with United Nations and Government of Nepal. Served as the Assistant Country Director of UNDP for more than a decade and played the role of major contributor in strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of UNDP Programmes. She also led the formulation of Five Year Plan and capacity assessments of government institutions for the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Industry; Gender Evaluation Team and conducted gender audits in Government institutions and private industrial units of Kathmandu and Pokhara. She has also trained and strengthened the capacity of government officers in the field of monitoring, evaluation and Result Based Management approach. She has been associated with Tewa from its inception and has been providing advisory services to it. She has Master’s degree in Economics (M.A in Development Economics).
Meera Bhattarai started her career at the Nepal Women's Organization. After 10 years she had become increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy, corruption and mistreatment by government staff towards the poor, particularly women. She resigned her position to set up ACP, to improve the situation of the Nepalese poor. Since then, Bhattarai has focused on three major systemic changes needed to improve how handicraft businesses are run: ensure product portfolios meet international quality and design standards; reintroduce ancient crafts; and organize women with families and farming responsibilities into a reliable workforce. She has set up one of the oldest and largest non-profit handicraft organizations in Nepal: The Association for Craft Producers is dedicated to providing design, marketing, management and technical services to low-income and predominantly female craft producers.
Mohan Man Sainju, PhD
Dr. Mohan Man Sainju’s professional contributions have spanned various positions in Nepal, the South Asia Region, as well as the Diplomatic arena in Washington DC. Dr. Sainju has held a number of key positions in the Government of Nepal. He was the Chief Director at the Department of Land Reforms, and subsequently a Joint Secretary with Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Land Reform. He moved on to policy studies as the Chief Specialist at the Center for Economic Development and Administration, and also served as the Rector at Tribhuvan University. Dr. Sainju was associated with the National Planning Commission for more than a decade, first as a Member and then as the Vice Chairman. He then served as the Ambassador to the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia. Dr. Sainju was then appointed as the Vice Chairperson of the Poverty Alleviation Fund, an autonomous, independent and a professional body created to fund targeted programmes for poverty alleviation in Nepal. At present Dr. Sainju is the Chairperson of the independent think tank, the Institute for Integrated Development Studies, and is on the Board of Rural Education and Development Nepal, Nirdhan Utthan Bank Ltd., and the South Asia Centre For Policy Studies.
Dr. Susanne E. Jalbert
The Tewa board announces the appointment of Dr. Susanne E. Jalbert as Ambassador Extraordinary to Tewa. The board, members and everyone involved with Tewa would like to thank Dr. Jalbert for her tireless efforts in promoting and supporting the philosophies of the organisation, not the least for initiating the "Tewa Teas" - which is as old as Tewa, and look forward to Tewa's continued and strengthened association with Dr. Jalbert in an ongoing way.