Our Team

Pankaj Vinayak Sharma – Country Leader

Pankaj heads Kusuma Foundation, India since 2011. He led development and rollout of Kusuma’s Secondary Education programme. During this period Kusuma School Partnership Initiative, Teachers Professional Development Programme, Kusuma Fellowships, Secondary School Readiness Programme, Kusuma Awards and Kusuma Resource Center’s were launched in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Pankaj has fifteen year’s of experience in leading multi-sectorial programmes in Health, HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, Child Rights, Education, and Humanitarian Assistance. His earlier roles include, Director of Programme Operations at Project Concern International in India, Deputy Project Director, Corridors Project at University of Manitoba and Karnataka Health Promotion Trust and as a Manager at CARE India, where he started career as a Fellow on its prestigious National Fellowship Programme. Pankaj holds a Masters in Social Work from The Tata Institute of Social Sciences and a Certificate in Health and Human Rights, University of Heidelberg, Germany.



Bindiya Nagpal – Senior Programme Manager

Bindiya holds a Masters in Sociology from IGNOU (Jesus and Mary College), Delhi India and did her graduation in Elementary Education (B.El.Ed.) from Delhi University (Lady Shri Ram College), India. Bindiya brings to Kusuma over 10 year’s of experience in the development sector, primarily in the area of education and gender. She has expertise in programme design, developing national guidelines for programmes and managing multi location teams, capacity building & programme monitoring. Her last assignment was at Room to Read as Programme Manager for a Girls’ Education Programme focusing on the issues of middle and secondary education.

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Tanushree Narain – Programme Support Manager

Tanushree is a business management graduate with M.Sc. in Management (Human Resources) from The University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. She has over nine year’s of experience in Human Resources & Administration in corporate and non-profit organisations. She has worked with Project Concern International, India where she headed the support functions –  Human Resources, Administration & Information Technology. Her past assignments were with UNICEF & Stellar Information Systems Ltd. where she worked in the areas of general administration, people management, recruitment and information technology.


Ganesh V – Finance Manager

Ganesh has 17 years of experience in the area of Finance, managing budgets, financial reporting and ensuring statutory compliance. His last assignment was with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Foundation in Gurgaon, Haryana as their Manager Finance. Prior to this assignment, he has worked as a senior finance professional with Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi in Mahila Samakhya Project, Switch Asia Project at All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association, New Delhi and Panos, South Asia, New Delhi. Ganesh holds a Masters in Business Administration – Finance from National Institute of Business Management, Chennai, India and Bachelor of Commerce from Delhi University, India.


Neetu Sahu – Manager MIS

Neetu has 15 years of experience in the development sector, designing MIS tools and templates for data collection, compilation, validation, monitoring and evaluation (M&E). She brings skills in software development and use of application packages to generate analytical reports. Her last assignment was with Plan India as State MIS Officer to provide direction to implement MIS & M&E plans at the state. Prior to this, she worked with UNICEF and World Health Organisation as the Data Analyst. Neetu holds an MBA in Information Management from Xavier Institute of Social Sciences, Ranchi and a Honors in Mathematics from Women’s College, Ranchi University.


Alok Pandey – State Manager, Odisha

Alok has 10 years of experience in the area of Education Leadership Management, School Leadership and Teacher Education. He also has experience in programme design, implementation,  monitoring and evaluation of Education programmes. His last assignment was with the Asian Development Bank funded project supporting Human Capital Development in Meghalaya in Secondary Education. Prior to this assignment, he has worked with Azim Premji Foundation as a Programme Manager for the Education Leadership and Management Programme, Bihar Education Quality Mission as the  State Consultant with UNICEF  and as a Research Associate with McKinsey & Company. Alok holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Operations Management from All India Management Association, New Delhi and Bachelor of Commerce – Sambalpur University, Odisha.


Dr. Mahendra K Dwivedi  – State Manager, Uttar Pradesh

Mahendra has over 17 years of management and technical experience in the field of education. Prior to KF, he was with UNICEF, Lucknow as State Education Consultant and has worked closely with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT), Uttar Pradesh. In past, Mahendra has worked with New Education Group – Foundation for Innovation and Research in Education (NEG-FIRE), Azim Premji Foundation and Bharti Foundation. Mahendra holds a Phd., Masters in Law (specialisation in labour laws) & Masters in Political Science.