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The officers play a vital role in the strategic direction of Friends of Seva Mandir UK:

Chris Wiscarson | Chairman

Chris Wiscarson serves on the Seva Mandir Advisory Board in India and was appointed Chairman of the UK Friends of Seva Mandir in 2012.  He took up the position of Chief Executive of the Equitable Life in September 2009 following a 20 year career at the Lloyds Banking Group.

Chris is a Fellow of King’s College London where he chaired the college’s development fund for many years.  He has also been a director of the Big Issue foundation and is a regular visitor to India, having worked extensively with many India organisations in his professional capacity.

John MacAuslanJohn MacAuslan | Secretary

John MacAuslan worked for many years in the Treasury (on public spending, foreign currency and labour markets) and in the National Gallery in London. In 2005 he took up a five-year post as a Civil Service Commissioner.  He has been involved in a variety of roles with several NGOs, including in international development.  He spent a year in India in the 1970s, mainly working in Rajasthan, and revisited Udaipur in 2005 to spend time around Seva Mandir.

Mark FrancisMark Francis | Treasurer

Mark Francis was appointed Treasurer of the Friends of Seva Mandir UK in July 2012.  Mark is a Chartered Accountant currently working in the Financial Services sector, having undertaken significant roles with both Equitable Life Assurance Society and Lloyds Banking Group.  Mark qualified with Deloitte in 1997 after graduating from Imperial College, London with a first class Honours degree in Mathematics.  Mark supports a number of community groups within local villages in Buckinghamshire.  He has also traveled extensively and, through Seva Mandir, is passionate about helping the villages in Rajasthan.

Jonathan BermanJonathan Berman | Officer

Jonathan Berman has been a corporate partner at Mishcon de Reya, specialising in Mergers & Acquisitions, since 1997. He has assisted, and continues to assist, a number of charities operating in the UK, Africa and Australia. Jonathan was appointed as an officer of the Friends of Seva Mandir UK in July 2011. He became aware of the charity through St Christopher’s School, attended by one of his children. St Christopher’s School supports the charity and sends children to India each year to help with various projects.

_rdx7074-1Tony Bourne | Officer

Tony currently chairs Universal Engineering, a leading drilling equipment provider, and the Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity.  He is a non-executive director at Barchester, one of the UK’s largest residential care home businesses, and Spire Healthcare, the leading UK listed private hospital and healthcare provider.  In 2013, Tony retired as Chief Executive of the British Medical Association after 9 years in that role.

Tony has been a frequent visitor to India and Seva Mandir for 35 years.

Deepu ChintamaneniDeepu Chintamaneni | Officer

Deepu Chintamaneni is a senior investment executive at IFM Investors, a leading fund management company which invests in infrastructure assets globally on behalf of pension funds and similar institutional investors. Deepu is responsible for the origination and execution of new investment opportunities as well as ongoing monitoring of existing investments in IFM’s global infrastructure fund portfolio. She represents IFM investors as an alternate Director on the Board of Arqiva, a UK based communications infrastructure and media services company.

Deepu has worked in the financial services sector for over 11 years across Europe and North America. Prior to IFM Investors, she worked at Citi Investment Bank providing financing and transaction advisory services in New York and San Francisco. Deepu has  a masters degree from Stanford University and a bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from University of Bombay.

PenelopePenelope Madden | Officer

Penelope is a painter who began her career as a graphic designer for Faber and Faber, Penguin Books and Pentagram Design. She subsequently became Senior Lecturer of Graphic Design at Central/St Martins and The London College of Printing. She obtained her Masters from Wimbledon College of Art.

Her association with Seva Mandir came about through the time she spent in Rajasthan when her husband was making The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Films. While in India she worked with a small educational charity, Horizon West, and has done design work for local charities in Chiswick. 

Surekha 2Surekha Mehta | Officer

Originally from Kenya, Surekha came to Britain in 1968.  After university, she joined a team of Neuroscientists at St Thomas’ and Guy’s Medical School Hospital where she obtained a doctorate.  Her research continued in the field of Multiple Sclerosis and Myelgic Encephalomyelitis at St Thomas’ Hospital until joining the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Surrey studying the effects of opiates on brain chemistry.

Surekha is an executive member of The Institute of Indian Arts and Culture and The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.  She is also a director of Parker Lloyd Foundation, helping and supporting orphans and widows in India and Kenya.

Kamal.RahmanKamal Rahman | Officer

Kamal Rahman is a Partner with Mishcon de Reya LLP having joined the firm 23 years ago. She heads up the Immigration Group advising HNW international clients on immigration and citizenship issues. Kamal is a trustee at UWC Dilijan in Armenia which is an international school bringing together children from diverse and conflicting cultures to break down cultural barriers and promote peace.

johnJohn Pheasant | Officer

John is a  solicitor advocate.  As partner at Hogan Lovells, he was responsible for the firm’s international expansion in Europe, Asia and the USA.  He retired in 2012 and continues as a consultant.  John is a trustee and Secretary of the Friends of the Georgian Society of Jamaica, and a trustee of Brook Cricket Club.

John and his wife, Felicia, first visited Seva Mandir in 2012 since which time they have spent three winters living in Udaipur supporting Seva Mandir.  They return every year to continue their invaluable practical support. John is a photographer, making an important record of Seva Mandir’s programmes, and his work was the subject of a public exhibition in Udaipur in 2016.

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