Board of Directors
Anju Bhargava is a Strategic Business Transformation and Risk Management senior professional and management consultant with over two decades of experience consulting/working for major companies globally. She has provided thought leadership in the public and private sectors, published papers and received many awards. Her distinctive research based approach leverages best practices from many spheres – education, government, civic, faith based, and corporate. Her pioneering initiatives include an internationally cited study on loan loss published by RMA Journal and recognized by OCC; a target marketing effort “Capitalizing Diversity in the Changing Financial Markets”; Chakravyuhu (labyrinth) education program to mentor corporate women. A change catalyst pioneer and social entrepreneur, she now volunteers with the Livingston Township, Interfaith Clergy Association and diverse residents to build healthy communities with cross-cultural inclusion. A Vedantic teacher/ordained pujarin, she strives to combine philosophy and practice from a contemporary view. She is the only Hindu woman to to lead the opening invocation prayer at Livington's Memorial Day Service and the NJ State Assembly on May 20,2010, observing Asian American month. She started the first professional networking forum in New York, South Asian in Corporate America. She was the only Indian-American to serve in the Community Builder Fellowship, President Clinton’s White House initiative.In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Bhargava to the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, making her the first Hindu-American woman to hold a position of this seniority. She is a founder of Hindu American Seva Communities, former President of Asian Indian Women in America, and former Trustee of Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. Ms. Bhargava was named one of 10 Inspiring Women Religious Leaders by Huffington Post.
Dr. Ved Chaudhary retired as an Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Management and Budget in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in New Jersey in 2010. He has been instrumental in bringing diversity awareness at the DEP and other government departments and received an “Award of Excellence” by the Diversity Journal in 2008 and 2009. Dr. Chaudhary has served as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ NJ Advisory Committee and a Member of the Governor’s Ethnic Advisory Council in New Jersey. He is a fellow of “Leadership New Jersey” and co-founder/first President of the Association for the Advancement of Asian Americans (4A), and the NJ Chapter of Asian American “80/20 Initiative” for Equality and Justice. He was elected by the Board of 80/20 Initiative to serve as the National Coordinator of the Collective Leadership of 80-20 in the year 2012. Dr. Chaudhary has served as a Member of the Board of Trustees of Rutgers University, NJ. He is currently serving as President of Educators Society for Heritage of India and Advisor to the Board of Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought.
Dr. Anantanand Rambachan is Chair and Professor or Religion, Philosophy and Asian Studies at Saint Olaf College, Minnesota, USA, where he has been teaching since 1985. Prof. Rambachan has been involved in the field of interreligious relations and dialogue for over twenty-five years, as a Hindu participant and analyst. He is currently an advisor to the Pluralism Project (Harvard University), a member of the International Advisory Council for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and a member of the Theological Education Committee of the American Academy of Religion. Prof. Rambachan delivered the invocation address at the historic White House Celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali in 2003 and also in 2004. He also delivered the Lambeth Interfaith Lecture at Lambeth Palace, London (2008).
Dr. Siva Subramanian is board certified in Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. He is currently Professor of Pediatrics & Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Chief of Neonatology in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Georgetown University Hospital. An award winning teacher, he teaches at Georgetown University Medical Center about Pediatrics, Neonatology, Bioethics, Religious Traditions in Health Care, and Complimentary & Alternative Medicine. He is the Founder Chairman of Sri Siva Vishnu Temple (1976), Founder Co-Chair of the Association of Hindu Jain Temples of Metropolitan Washington DC (1990), and Founder Member of the Council on Hindu Temples of USA (1984). He helped to unite the temples in Metropolitan Washington D.C. and guided the group to join the Interfaith Conference (IFC). In 2006 he received the IFC "Inter Faith Bridge Builder Award" given by the Vatican Ambassador and Dr. Deepak Chopra and is one of the first Board of Directors of Upakar.
Shekar Narasimhan, (Emeritus, HASC Board member), is Managing Partner at Beekman Advisors which provides strategic advisory and investment banking services to real estate and financial services companies and CEO of Beekman Helix India Partners, a real estate merchant bank focused on providing capital solutions to developers and promoters of commercial projects in India. Shekar was Chairman & CEO of the WMF Group, a publicly traded, commercial mortgage financial services company. Shekar is on the Executive Committee of the National Housing Conference and on the boards of the Community Preservation Development Corp., Low Income Investment Fund and Broadstone Net Lease, Inc. A recipient of numerous awards, he was appointed a Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Shekar has been active in the Indian American community as Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Indian American Leadership Council, Board member and former Chair of Upakar Foundation and former Treasurer of the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Lanham, MD. Shekar has received numerous awards and recognition.
Chaudhary, Ravi is the Commander, USAF 317th Recruiting Squadron, Maryland. As an AF pilot and engineer, he has completed a variety deployed flying and staff assignments in the Global War on Terror. He most recently served at the Pentagon as Chief of Strategy and Integration, and was responsible for preparing the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff for weekly strategy engagements with SECDEF, and key Congressional Testimony as a Speechwriter. He has completed a variety of deployed flying and staff assignments, and commanded a C-17 detachment and Personnel Recovery operations in Iraq and the Afghanistan AOR; He has served in two operational C-17 squadrons, two flight test squadrons, AMC’s operational test squadron and several engineering systems groups. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the USAF Academy and and M.S. in Industrial Engineering as a Graduate Fellow with NASA. He is also an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics, and a certified DOD Level III Acquisition Officer. Chaudhary is a Senior Pilot with over 3000 hours (700 combat), and also has experience as a Flight Test Engineer in numerous Fighter, Trainer and Airlift Aircraft.
Jain, Pankaj is the author of Sustenance and Sustainability: Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities (May 2011) and has also published articles in many journals and contributes to Washington Post and Patheos. His research and teaching interests include Hinduism, Jainism, environmental ethics, Indian films, Sanskrit, and Hindi/Urdu languages and literature. He has taught at North Carolina State University, Rutgers, Kean, and New Jersey City University. Interested in connecting ancient practices with contemporary issues, he is exploring the connections between religious traditions and sustainability in Hindu and Jain communities in the North Texas area. He serves as a research affiliate with Harvard University’s Pluralism Project and as scholar-in-residence with GreenFaith. He is also a Roving Professor at the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinary at UNT. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and an M.A. from Columbia University (both in Religious Studies) and a B.S. in Computer Science from India.
Soni, Varun is the dean of religious life at the University of Southern California (USC). His is the first Hindu in American history to be the chief religious and spiritual leader of a research university. He holds degrees in religion from Tufts University, Harvard Divinity School, UCSB, and the University of Cape Town, as well as a law degree from UCLA School of Law.
Executive Management Committee:
AmeriCorps VISTA Members (2010-2012):
Niki Shah has a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Media and Economics and M.S. in Global Affairs and minor in International Business from Rutgers University. He volunteered with the UN Volunteers Program, UN Global Compact Group and worked on Capitol Hill.
Rema Venkatsubban has a B.Sc in Chemistry with a minor in French, Physics and Math with English Literature course work. She has built communities, living in France and US to raise her family with those from over 26 nationalities. Is an activist volunteer in the temple, interfaith and diverse communities in Wichita. KS.
Dr. Kumud Sane recently retired from Pediatric Endocrine Department, Minnesota University, is a co-founder of The Hindu Society of Minnesota, has worked to unite communities in Minneapolis/St. Paul and build the temple, which provides educational, cultural, charity and interfaith activities with religious services.