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David Gellner, Professor of Social Anthropology and a Fellow of All Souls College in the University of Oxford, has been visiting Nepal regularly for forty years. He lived in the Kathmandu Valley (in Nag Bahal, Patan) for two years continuously while doing his doctorate on Newar Buddhism and society in the early 1980s. Though often seen as a specialist on the Newars, he has also carried out research on activism (of all sorts, from social through to political), on healing, in the Tarai, in Kaski district, on the Nepali diaspora in the UK, as well as in Japan. He has written or edited fourteen books including The Anthropology of Buddhism and Hindusim: Weberian Themes, Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-Century Nepal (co-author Sarah LeVine), Varieties of Activist Experience: Civil Society in South Asia, and Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia. He has supervised over 30 doctoral theses on subjects as diverse as a Governance and Sociality on a Council Estate in England, Gender and Social Mobility in Hyderabad, Christianity in Nepal, Fire Brigades in Japan, Muktinath as a Pilgrimage Site, and Identity in Kargil (India).

Prior to becoming the Co-Founder and CEO of Teach for Nepal, Shisir Khanal worked as the Executive Director of Sarvodaya USA, a Madison, Wisconsin-based non-profit organization that supports grassroots social movements around the world. As Executive Director, Shisir managed the operations, programs, donor relations, communications and fundraising efforts for Sarvodaya USA. The initiative has strong roots in Sri Lanka, and in 2008, Shisir established Sarvodaya Nepal. In 2010, he led a Facebook-based campaign to win $100,000 to construct a green school building for the Jyotidaya Cooperative School in Nepal.

Prior to working at Sarvodaya USA, Shisir was a Research Assistant at Robert M. La Follette School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, interned with the United Nations Development Program in Nepal, and worked at the Connecticut General Assembly. He completed his Master’s degree in International Public Affairs (MIPA) in 2005 from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2012, the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association awarded Shisir with the “Forty Under 40” Award for his outstanding work in sustainable development.

Ganesh Kumar KC is based in Kathmandu and is currently a freelance consultant. Ganesh has over 37 years of experience serving the Government of Nepal in various capacities including as the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Development, Government of Nepal. His career in Nepalese civil service began as a research entomologist at the Department of Agriculture, Nepal in 1970 after completing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Rajasthan, India. He also has a Master in Pest Management from the University of California, USA. During his tenure in the Nepalese civil service, he focused on strengthening and developing technical backstopping support service programs to small farmers. His interest is to work on sustainable rural development with a focus on enhancement of agricultural production and productivity for attaining food security, rural employment and off-farm entrepreneurial activities. He is also interested in the impacts of climate change on agriculture, and sustainable livelihoods. He would like to work towards a clean, green and hunger free Nepal.

Shrochis Karki has been working on grassroots education issues for the last three years, and has founded Samaanta Foundation as a response to his findings of inequality and education disparity in rural Nepal. The Foundation provides comprehensive fellowships to facilitate quality higher education for meritorious needy students from rural communities to promote a more empowered and equal society.

Shrochis first left Nepal to attend Kenyon College in Ohio. After majoring in Political Science and International Studies, he moved to the UK to complete his M. Phil. in Development Studies from Oxford University. He is now finishing his D. Phil. in International Development from the same university, and has just returned to the UK after a year of research in Nepal. Although he has lived abroad for his studies for many years now, he has remained engaged with issues in Nepal, academically and otherwise. Most recently, he wrote a fortnightly Op-Ed column in Republica throughout 2012, addressing contemporary social, political, and economic issues. His research interests include education, employment, mobility, social justice, and children and youth studies, and he has provided consultations to national and international organizations on these issues.

Last Updated: December 5, 2015

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