DEF Governing Body
Osama Manzar is a convert social entrepreneur spearheading the mission to overcome the information barrier between India’s rural sector, and the so-called developed society, through Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) – the not-for-profit organization founded to accomplish the mission. He is a Member, Working Group, Internet Governance Forum of Ministry of Communication & IT and was a Member, Task Force on Growth of IT, ITES & Electronics HW Manufacturing Industry, Ministry of Comm & IT, India.
Shaifali Chikermane is a Post Graduate from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is a designer and expert on information design. She is also an enthusiastic volunteer for many educational institutes like the Aurobindo Ashram’s Mirambika School. She also works as Freelance Designer and consultant for designing and information development for many organizations.
Rajen Varada is an ICT practitioner since 1995 and continues to be actively engaged in designing and implementing proof of concept solutions for rural development using technology and in particular ICT. He has developed solutions for health & early childhood care: (Sisu Samrakshak UNICEF), disaster: (SMS4help – Solution Exchange), district e-governance: (Parishkaram & Samadhan – Govt of AP& West Bengal) and most recently ‘Labnet” a migrant labour tracking and services portal. He is actively involved for the past nine years in study, evaluation and mentoring ICT innovations which impact the social sector. Rajen has been one of the thinkers behind movements like public sector software in India and actively support community ownership of technology – from community radio, community TV to open source applications.
Amir Ullah Khan is a development economist and a senior policy advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from Osmania University. He studied at the Institute of Rural Management Anand and has a PhD in Economics and Business Studies from the Jamia Millia University. He has worked as Researcher for the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the UNDP at Project LARGE (Legal Adjustments and Reforms for Globalising the Economy). He then was Academic Head at the Indian School of Finance and Management, after which he worked with Encyclopædia Britannica as executive director and editor.
Amitabh is the Director of Telxess Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd. and Vcon Services Ltd. He was a Founder and former President of Internet Service Providers Association of India. He also was a founder, Board Director and CEO of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). He helped conceptualize and set up NIXI as a public private partnership between ISPAI and Department of Information Technology, Government of India and was involved in restructuring NIXI as an autonomous Registry and Regulator of the .IN Domain (Indian ccTLD), including its commercial launch, drafting and implementing the INDRP, and appointment of Registrars, etc.
Mridula Chandra, 42, post graduate from Delhi School of Social Work with more than 20 years of experience in social development sector is the moving force behind HSDRC. Any thing that is visualized & successfully accomplished by HSDRC is due to sustained, unabated , self-less efforts of Mridula Chandra and colleagues at HSDRC.
Ms. Shalini Kala has an advanced degree in Economics. She worked on issues for Agricultural Policy Reform in India for her M.Phil. dissertation. She has 20 years of professional experience in the field of rural development, particularly in the areas of food and agriculture focusing on knowledge networking, livelihoods and capacity building both in India and the Asia-Pacific region. Most recently, Ms. Kala was at the World Food Programme (WFP) where she worked on design, testing and advocacy of innovative approaches for food aid as a tool of development. She was also associated with National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and later worked on USAID projects.