Seema Paul

Managing Director, The Nature Conservancy India

Seema Paul, Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy India, is passionate about making a difference to the future of people and the planet. As an entrepreneurial executive, she has translated concepts into organizations and program strategies into impactful public policies in energy, climate change and ecosystems conservation. She has worked across philanthropies, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and media; and has managed program portfolios totalling more than $120 million over her career. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Seema was the Vice President at Climate Works Foundation and Founder CEO of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing climate mitigation in India. She has also served as Program Director for Biodiversity at Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation. An alumna of St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, University of Maryland, U.S., and INSEAD, France, Seema is passionate about leading non-profit start-ups, setting vision and implementing strategy. She lives in New Delhi with her two daughters and travels frequently across India and around the world for work and pleasure. In her free time, she likes to read and explore nature and history through books, site visits and collecting vintage memorabilia. She has a passion for the arts.

Kunal Sharma

Director of Programmes

Kunal Sharma oversees The Nature Conservancy India’s conservation portfolio and leads the programme teams by providing strategic guidance to conservation goals and objectives. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, he was head of the Climate Policy Programme at the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation. In his eight years with Shakti, he led the development of the programme’s grant portfolio and provided strategic guidance on numerous projects spanning low carbon development, mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants and air quality management. Kunal managed working relationships with officials at several Ministries and State Government Departments. His previous professional experience includes working at Abt Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., where he contributed to several analytic assessments in support of EPA regulations and initiatives. He also has six years of experience in the private sector. Kunal graduated from Yale University with a dual Master’s in Environmental Studies and Economics. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Hindu College, Delhi University. In his free time, Kunal likes to play field hockey, go on hikes, and try out new recipes in the kitchen.

Robin Gusain

Director of Finance & Operations

Robin Gusain is a qualified Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary and MBA (Finance) with more than 14 years of experience in finance, internal audit, management reporting, grants and risk management functions. At The Nature Conservancy India, he oversees Finance, Legal, Human Resources and Operations. He played a key role in ensuring The Nature Conservancy was legally registered in India. In the past, he has served as the Finance Director at Room to Read for two years and an Internal Auditor at the Aga Khan Foundation for six years. Robin has extensive experience in handling matters relating to regulatory compliance with respect to Income Tax Act, FCRA, Companies Act, Accounting Standards and more. He has also successfully monitored and executed long-term projects funded by international organizations, agencies and donors such as the European Commission, CIDA, DFID, USAID and UNICEF. Robin is a committed father to two daughters and plans to devote his retirement to a brighter tomorrow for the next generation of girls in India.

Abhinav Sen

Lands Field Manager

Abhinav is passionate about creating a positive impact for India’s ecosystems and its dependent communities. He has a keen interest to develop and implement community based models on restoration. He believes that collaboration is essential in fostering long term impact and finds driving multi-stakeholder projects enriching. As the Lands Field Manager, he leads implementation of The Nature Conservancy’s India programme on restoration in Central India. Before joining TNC – India, he worked with the Royal Bank of Scotland, where he led their corporate responsibility initiatives on rural livelihoods, restoration and community institutions for over 6 years. As part of RBS Foundation India, he successfully designed, leveraged USD 2.50 million from the UN Climate Adaptation Fund and led a multi-stakeholder climate resilience project in the Kanha-Pench landscape of Central India.

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Forest Management, he loves being close to nature and is an amateur birder. He also likes cooking for his family and friends.

Aditi Khurana

Manager, Partnerships

Aditi Khurana is a management graduate as well as a qualified homoeopathic doctor with over eight years of work experience in the private and development sector. She specialises in business development and fundraising. She leads The Nature Conservancy’s fundraising efforts in India with a focus on corporates, HNIs and foundations. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Aditi worked with Doctors Without Borders India where she was responsible for leading the Major Donor Fundraising channel. She started her career with Yes Bank Ltd., a private Indian Bank, after completing her post-graduation in Management in 2010. She is passionate about dance and loves to spend her free time learning the French language and reading.

Anwesha Choudhuri

Fundraising Coordinator

Anwesha has over 6 years of experience in the development sector, with a focus on advocacy. She strongly believes in the power advocacy has in creating deep socio-political impact. Her strengths lie in operations and relationship development, and she has been an integral part of several development initiatives with stakeholders in Ministries, NGOs, as well as INGOs. At The Nature Conservancy – India, she works as the Fundraising Coordinator. Her previous professional experiences include working with NCPEDP, DPI, Saksham, Carleton University and Matrix Cellular International. Anwesha is very passionate about the environment and nature, especially since she graduated from Woodstock School, Mussoorie. She has an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology from Carleton University. Anwesha lives in New Delhi with her father, and loves to explore various eateries with friends and family in her free time. Additionally, whenever she gets the chance she loves to travel to the hills as she is at her happiest when in natural and peaceful environments.

Amit Pathak

Executive Assistant to MD

Amit Pathak is the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy India. He has over 20 years of experience in managing offices of executive leaders and administration management. He is an MBA with specialisation in Human Resources. He has worked in Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, where he managed the annual administration budget of Rs. 4.5 crore independently in addition to ably running the CEO’s Office. A proactive team member, he has worked with the NV Group of companies, where he was the Executive Assistant to the Founder Chairman and Managing Director. He has worked in public, private and social sectors, including organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative. He is a nature lover and likes to travel to unexplored destinations in India.

Ashok Biswal

Associate Scientist, Narmada

Ashok Biswal is a passionate nature explorer and keen wildlife photographer who is rarely seen without a camera hanging from his neck. He enjoys capturing nature’s mysteries through his lens. He manages The Nature Conservancy India’s project on restoring River Narmada and is based out of the Divisional Commissioner’s office in Narmadapuram. He has travelled extensively in East India to research on flora, fauna and other conservation aspects of wetlands. These works are reflected in his three books – ‘Aquatic Plants of Eastern India’, ‘Glimpses of Biodiversity of Odisha’ and ‘Biological Diversity of Regional Plant Resources Center’. Ashok received his academic and professional training from the Wildlife Institute of India, Wildlife Conservation Society, Utkal University, Bharathiar University and Indian Institute of Forest Management. He is a field researcher at heart and spends any free time in the jungles exploring nature and capturing its beauty through photography.

Bhawna

Manager – Finance & Compliance

Bhawna is a Commerce Graduate from Delhi University and a qualified Chartered Accountant with more than 11 years of experience in private and development sector. She has an extensive experience of finance & accounts, management reporting, auditing, and grant management. She is a certified Information System Auditor from ICAI and have specialization in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Detection too. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Bhawna was working with PATH and World vision India where she contributed via working on various projects funded by international organizations and donors such as The Global Fund, USAID, Unitaid, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other Philanthropic Organizations. She brings with her a strong understanding of financial control, compliance, reporting and its application in the development sector. Prior to the development sector, she had worked with Retail and Manufacturing sector as Manager Finance and Accounts. She also has a good experience in streamlining of Business Processes and successful implementation of ERP system in the organizations. In her free time, she enjoys travelling and exploring new destinations.

Dhaval Negandhi

Ecological Economist

Dhaval Negandhi is an Ecological Economist with The Nature Conservancy’s India programme and supports all programme teams in conducting economic analyses for conservation projects. He currently manages the projects on Renewable Energy and Reforestation by Design and Restoring River Narmada in the Central Indian Landscape. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Dhaval also worked with the Institute on issues related to ecosystem services, conservation finance and natural capital at the science-policy interface. He has been an integral part of research studies that have influenced national policies in India on forest and wildlife management including the Net Present Value of Forest Diversion in India, Forest Fiscal Federalism for the 14th Finance Commission of India and Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserves in India. He has a Master’s in Forestry Management from India and another Master’s in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from three universities across Europe. He is based out of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh where he lives with his wife and two children. He is passionate about travelling and cricket and spends his free time playing with his son and daughter.

Isha Dash

Communications Officer

Isha has been working in the development sector, especially the environment, since almost 5 years. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Isha played multiple roles in CDD Society – ranging from managing the implementation of faecal sludge management projects, to creating content for the organization’s knowledge publications, policy advocacy, case studies and marketing material. She is trained in the field of Environmental Sciences and Management, playing with words makes me happy. She strongly believes stories, in any form and media, have a strong impact on a community which may be digital or offline. Her training helps her simplify scientific concepts and make them more relatable to the general public. Apart from the passion she has for well strung words, Isha has immense love for music, performing arts and food.

Karishma Vohra

Lands Project Manager

Karishma Vohra is a passionate sustainability professional with over five years of experience in forestry and agro commodities supply chains and circular economy practices for promoting environmental sustainability within business operations. She brings strong expertise in the areas of programmatic support and coordination, project management, stakeholder engagement, communication & outreach, primary and secondary research and documentation across cross-cutting environmental and sustainable developmental thematic areas. Her previous professional experiences include working with WWF-India, Emergent Ventures India and ETI Dynamics. She completed graduation in Biomedical Science from Delhi University post which, an avid interest in the issues of environmental conservation led her to pursue a Masters in Environmental Studies from TERI University. She has also completed an online diploma in Business Administration from Symbiosis. Karishma is a level I Reiki Practitioner and believes in creating positive contributions to the society not only through her work but also through interactions in personal life. She likes to spend her free time on deepening her connection with oneself and nature, practising yoga, travelling and learning new things.

Manmeet Singh

Assistant Manager - Admin & Operations

Manmeet Singh is a Hotel Management Graduate with more than 10 years of experience in Travel Management, Vendor Management, Facility Planning and Corporate Events & meetings with Hospitality skills. Wherein he has managed multiple International events and Pan India travel and facilities. He has worked with Hike Messenger, Bharti Enterprises and The LaLiT Hotel. He has expertise in change management; setting up the processes and laying the foundation of corporate standards from scratch at multi locations with same feel and look. He has demonstrated excellence in handling multi-tasking activities in high-pressure environments. He loves to explore various cultural backgrounds. He is Skydive passionate and spends his vacation Cycling, Trekking and playing Badminton.

Minakshi Seth

Communications Lead

Minakshi is a strategic communications advisor and leads The Nature Conservancy – India’s marketing and communications work. Minakshi’s expertise spans strategic communications, leadership and program communications, outreach campaigns, crisis communications, brand management, stakeholder engagement, advocacy, and social media. Prior to joining TNC – India, she worked for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), where she was Communications Lead for South Asia (covering India, Bangladesh, Bhutan Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka). In this capacity, she instituted the regional communications function and built a talented communications team, including an overseas assignment at the IFC headquarters in Washington D.C. where she led Communications for the Global Infrastructure team with a special focus on Cities. Prior to IFC, she headed the Markets team at KPMG India. During an earlier stint with a leading media house in India, she was responsible for brand management for The Economic Times. Minakshi is an Economic Honors graduate from University of Delhi and has a post graduate diploma in Public Relations, Advertising & Marketing. She loves books, arts, nature and theater.

Manoj Singh

Project Head, Crop Residue Management

Manoj Singh is a post graduate in Agriculture with management background. He leads the crop residue management initiative of the Nature Conservancy in India. He is passionate and results driven professional having 18 years of strong experience in the agriculture sector. He has experience in project management, program designing and developing project strategies and action plans especially in the areas of resilient and conservation agriculture, community based adaptation systems, inclusive value chain development, economic empowerment, market research and analysis, agro and rural enterprise development and developing Knowledge, Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (KMLE) systems. Before joining the Nature Conservancy, Manoj was National Project Coordinator in one of the largest Global Environment Facility-funded projects in the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations. He has worked across various development organizations, research institutions, and corporations in the area of agriculture and allied sectors such as Indian Agricultural Research Institute, GIZ, KPMG, Asian Development Bank, CARE India, etc. Manoj loves singing and passionate to work for nature. He also likes traveling to natural landscapes.

Nisha Priya Mani

Project Manager, Cities Programme

Nisha has over 13 years of experience in various fields of environment management with expertise in water quality and solid waste management, environmental planning, management and assessment, resource conservation and policies on mitigation and adaptation to climate change. She holds a Ph.D in Environmental Science from Anna University, Chennai. As the Project Manager for Cities programme, Nisha oversees the implementation of the project on restoring Chennai’s wetlands. She works closely with multiple stakeholders including the City, State and Central Government and project partners to ensure project delivery. In the past, she has offered consultancy services to various sectors such as thermal power plants, chemical industries and other developmental projects pertaining to environmental management, regulatory compliance and obtaining statutory environmental clearances. She also worked for the Government of India in its preparation for the historical COP 21 on ‘Paris Agreement on Climate Change’ during her stint in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). Nisha loves spending time in nature and nurturing it all around her. She enjoys trekking, bird watching, photography and listening to upbeat music.

Roshni Arora

Applied Freshwater Scientist

Roshni Arora is a budding ecohydrologist with a keen interest in nature and environmental conservation. In the past, she has worked with the Wildlife Institute of India on environmental impact assessment and biodiversity conservation projects with a focus on water resources. She has a Joint PhD in River Science from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and University of Trento, Italy through the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Program. She also has a Masters in Environmental Management from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. After completing her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany. Her primary research interests lie in exploring the processes interlinking ecological and hydrological functioning of rivers and multiple stressor impacts on freshwater ecology. Most recently, in her role at Wildlife Institute of India, she has worked with TNC-India team on the e-flows assessment for River Ganga. Roshni likes to learn new things, read detective novels, solve logical puzzles, do yoga, travel with her husband and dance hip-hop to refresh herself.

Sagar Mysorekar

GIS Head

Sagar R. Mysorekar is a geographer and heads The Nature Conservancy India’s GIS program. He has over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions using GIS and related technologies. He started his career with TNC’s Arkansas chapter as a GIS Intern and later became a GIS Manager for the Michigan and Great Lakes chapter. After leaving The Nature Conservancy in mid-2013, Sagar joined a start-up, Quantta Analytics, as Head GIS Services in India where he handled delivery and operations. He led conceptualization, configuration, and development of revenue generating Location Analytics business using Open Source technologies, managing diverse team of data researcher, data scientists, data engineers, and GIS experts to deliver 100+ projects ranging from banking, NBFC, healthcare, retail, and utility domains. Sagar is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Some of his work has been published in reputed scientific journals. Sagar enjoys yoga, watching birds, football, and reading books related to history and mythology.

Shivaprakash K N

Senior Applied Scientist

Shivaprakash K.N has a decade of research experience working in tropical forests of Western Ghats, India. He has worked on range of research topics from species distribution modelling to conservation genetics of tropical forest tree species. His diverse research projects have contributed to the better understanding of ecology and evolution of tropical forest vegetation in Western Ghats and impact of harvesting on forest tree genetics resources. He presently conducts his own research in areas such as community ecology, biogeography, comparative phylogenetics and population genetics. One of his research areas also focusses on integrating multiple components of biodiversity such as taxonomic, functional and evolutionary diversity to identify key biodiversity areas which preserves high species diversity as well as provide maximum ecosystem services.

His training is in conservation genetics, biogeography and community ecology, with a PhD from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Before joining TNC-India team, he was a bridging postdoctoral fellow and worked as a research associate at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru, India. In his free time, Shiva likes to read Sci-Fi novels, writes poems, go on hiking and field camping.

Shuchi Vora

Applied Freshwater Scientist

An engineer, social scientist and conservationist, Shuchi’s interest area is the science-policy interface in freshwater conservation. She graduated from University of Oxford in 2018 where she read Water Science, Policy and Management. Her research at Oxford was on the effectiveness of water allocation policy decisions in the Mara river basin in Kenya. Prior to Oxford, she worked with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on urban water management and multi-stakeholder river basin organisations in the Ganges basin. She is a gold medallist from TISS-Mumbai and has worked with Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd as a Supply Chain Team Lead.

Sunpreet Kaur

Forestry and Land Use Manager

Sunpreet is an applied researcher, with over 10 years of experience in forestry, natural resource, livelihoods, climate adaptation, and renewable energy projects. She has expertise in project management, policy reviews, program implementation, action research, and monitoring & evaluation (M&E); with a sound understanding of technical, social and institutional issues. She has extensively worked with multi-disciplinary teams on M&E of a variety of cross-cutting projects. Working with rural communities, she has closely worked with local institutions, local & national NGOs, and central & state governments. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, she dabbled in nurturing a start-up Nuvo Environmental and Rural Development Solutions (India) Private Limited, where she handled project delivery and operations. Her pre-entrepreneurial experience comprises leading the NRM team at InsPIRE Network for Environment (formerly Winrock International India), and working in the Performance Team at Global Environment Facility/The World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Office. She started her career with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, coordinating India’s submission under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. She has a few publications on forestry and applied research to her credit. Sunpreet is an alumna of Gargi College and a silver-medallist in her Masters in Environmental Management from the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal. She is also a recipient of the IIFM’s inaugural Budding Researcher’s Award 2009. She nurtures a passion for travelling and exploring the world. In her free time, she enjoys writing, experimenting with craft work, and playing board games.

Sushil Saigal

Program Lead – Lands

Sushil Saigal has over 25 years of experience of working on issues related to climate change, conservation and natural resources management. As the Applied Lands Scientist at The Nature Conservancy India, Sushil oversees the organisation’s portfolio of land conservation projects. He has led the development of the organisation’s strategies for climate change mitigation through natural climate solutions as well as its work in the Central Indian Highlands. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, he worked in leadership positions with USAID Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-PLUS) Program, Winrock International India, International Institute for Environment and Development, and Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development. Sushil has authored/edited five books and several papers on forestry, conservation, and climate change issues. Sushil has completed three Master’s degrees: MBA (IIFM), MSc Forestry at the University of Oxford, U.K., and an MPhil in Environment & Development at the University of Cambridge, U.K. He was a Gates & ORS Scholar at Cambridge and holds a Ph.D in Political Ecology from the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. Sushil loves travelling to offbeat places, following current affairs and listening to Bollywood music.

Sushmita Mandal

Freshwater Lead

Sushmita is an applied researcher – manager with a background in managing large scale trans-boundary freshwater, conservation and livelihood projects. She has worked on crafting common pool resource management institutions in the biodiversity-rich Eastern Ghats in India at Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), India; forest rights of tribal communities and mapping of cultural landscapes in the Western Ghats at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), India; strengthening water diplomacy through multi-stakeholder dialogues and joint research in the Ganga Brahmaputra Meghna basin of India and Bangladesh at International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), India, and grassroots diplomacy for conservation of Hilsa fish and livelihood of fisherfolk dependent on the same, across riverscapes in India and Bangladesh at the International Water Association (IWA), Netherlands. Sushmita is an alumna of Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi and Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Mumbai, and also graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Conservation Leadership. In her free-time she enjoys being outdoors: bird watching and tree-spotting. She loves to explore heritage, crafts, and textiles in her travels.