Board of Directors

Compassion in Action

Vinya Ariyaratne, MD is the President of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka. He is an expert in community medicine and has taught at medical schools in Sri Lanka. Vinya was one of the only three civil society representatives in the high-level Donor/Civil Society Steering Committee formed by the key multilateral donors to the tsunami recovery program. He has published in national and international public health and development journals.

Senani Wijeyewardena Babson graduated from Ladies’ College, Colombo, and attended American College of Higher Education in Sri Lanka. She is qualified as a Montessori teacher and is a member of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Sri Lanka. Since 2013, she serves as a Trustee of The Paul and Edith Babson Foundation.
In 2015, Senani created the “Senani Wijeyewardena Babson Fund” to strengthen the Sarvodaya Development Finance Company’s micro credit activities.

John Coonrod, Board Chair, is Executive Vice President of The Hunger Project. Its methodology of gender-focused, community-led development has been greatly influenced by Sarvodaya. John first met Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne in 1982, and was involved in the founding of Sarvodaya USA. John is also the founder and coordinator of the Movement for Community-led Development. John and his wife Carol live in Washington, DC.

Krishna Desar,
Treasurer, joined Sarvodaya USA when he came to the USA in 1998, and was first introduced with Sarvodaya in Nepal during in 1995.
Krishna raveled with Dr. Ari during his stay in DC and in Nepal and worked with Shisir in projects for Nepal and Sri Lanka. Krishna joined the board in June 2016. He is based in Washington, DC.

Erangi Dias is Director of Business Development for NYCEEC.  Erangi sources and executes financing transactions for new projects that save energy or reduce greenhouse gases, working with customers to understand their financing needs, and provide custom solutions. Previously, Erangi was a Vice President at Citigroup, where she held roles in Corporate and Investment Banking, and Credit Risk Management. She holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Shisir Khanal is Nepal Liaison, Founder and C.E.O. of Teach for Nepal. Shisir served as the Executive Director of Sarvodaya USA from 2005 to 2013. Previously, he worked as Research Assistant at Robert M. La Follette School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, interned with United Nations Development Program in Nepal, and worked at the Connecticut General Assembly. Shisir graduated with a Master’s degree in International Public Affairs (MIPA) in 2005 from the La Follette School of Public Affairs and has a Bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy from University of Bridgeport.

Hemamalie Russell has been living in USA since 1992 and is a Director for First Book, a non-profit involved in distribution of books and educational material in USA, Canada and several other countries. She lives in Washington D.C with her husband.