Run by a group of like minded individuals with ethical values and technical expertise, Hand in Hand Switzerland Association has a committed management team and a well governed Board.

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Dr. Kalpana Sankar


Dr. Kalpana Sankar - President

With a double doctorate – one in nuclear physics and another in gender studies, Dr. Kalpana Sankar has specialized in participatory assessment of Self Help Groups, NGOs, participatory rural appraisal, gender-differentiated impact, developing monitoring tools and indicators and preparation of manuals / guidelines on gender issues for the past 20 years. She has handled several international missions and received special commendation from the United Nations Office for Project Services. Dr. Sankar has trained high level government delegates from South Africa and Afghanistan and has supported microfinance and poverty reduction programs in Afghanistan and Brazil. She has been a consultant to UNDP, UNOPS, Wetlands International and Christian Aid. She was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar in 2017 and the Global Award for Women Empowerment from UN Women and Kingdom of Bahrain.

Dr. Sankar is currently Managing Trustee of Hand in Hand India and Managing Director of Belstar Microfinance Private Ltd. She has received scholarships to attend the INSEAD Business School and HBS – ACCION program and has been a student of the TRIUM E-MBA course. In 2009 she was felicitated by the US Congress as a leading Woman Social Entrepreneur in recognition of her role in providing leadership and fostering economic growth in local communities.

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Ambassador Amitava Tripathi

Member of Advisory Committee

Mr. Amitava Tripathi - Former Indian Diplomat Secretary

Mr Tripathi has been a distinguished Indian diplomat, having served the Indian Foreign Service since 1971. He has held different critical assignments in Karachi, Dhaka, UNO apart from being India’s ambassador to Brazil and Switzerland. A postgraduate from Cambridge University, Mr. Tripathi, following his laying down office, has dedicated himself to social development and charity work. Apart from serving Hand in Hand Switzerland Association, he is concurrently the President of the Governing Body of Action for Food Protection. Mr. Tripathi is also on various panels of the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India and is invited to deliver addresses and share his experience in various international platforms.

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Mr. Padmanabhan


Mr. Padmanabhan - Treasurer

Mr. S Padmanabhan has over 29 years of experience in finance planning, MIS, accounting, fund management and auditing. He has worked in various sectors, such as banks, manufacturing, pharma and microfinance.

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Mr. Sandip Mookerjee

Managing Director

Mr. Sandip Mookerjee - Managing Director

Mr. Mookerjee, is a professional with over three decades experience in various corporates in the general insurance sector, in public and private enterprises / MNCs, having served in leadership levels. He has wide exposure in People Management, Human Resources, Learning & Development, Insurance Underwriting, Sales etc.. During the past decade, Mr. Mookerjee has shouldered various responsible assignments, in Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd. and Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd., where he served as Vice President, Human Resources and was also a member of the Company’s Executive Committee.

Mr. Mookerjee’s passion to serve the poor motivated him to join the social development sector and he is currently leading the Swiss operations of the Hand in Hand group. He is also the Deputy CEO at Hand in Hand India and heads the Partnerships & Alliances wing.

Charities in Switzerland

Vera P. Weill Halle

Member of Advisory Committee

Vera P. Weill Halle - Member of Advisory Committee

Vera P. Weill Halle has over 30 years of experience working with international organizations and in the non-profit sector. Vera started her career working with Population Reference Bureau, in Washington DC, and later joined the UN Secretariat and subsequently the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome. She was head of delegation in a number of the UN and other international conferences. She is currently running her own firm, Brighter Ventures, for the empowerment of women.

Women organisation in Switzerland

Todd Wade

Member of Advisory Committee

Todd Wade - Member of Advisory Committee

Todd comes with deep technical and cybersecurity expertise working in global environments with experience managing people, processes and technology across a variety of industry sectors. He has completed his Trium MBA - jointly issued by NYU - Stern, HEC (Paris) & LSE.


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Mr. Arndt Soret

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Arndt Soret - Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Soret is a senior Corporate Counsel and Lawyer with over 15 years of experience in commercial law. He has worked primarily in Europe and UK with corporate giants such as Toshiba, Symantic and Lonza. Highly specialized and known for his negotiation acumen, Mr. Soret comes with strong business knowledge and passion having briefly worked for the UN and a law firm in the US.

Wanting to make a positive change and the world better since he was young, especially since he heard about alarming infant mortality rates, Mr. Soret has dedicated his passion towards social causes. He co-founded Humanium, a voluntary child rights oriented non profit in 2008 in Switzerland, Germany and France. Through Humanium, he has visited grassroots projects in India, a place which transformed him and where he has made some of his closest friends. Calling himself, ‘an Indian at heart’, Arndt is dedicated and committed towards making a difference to those who most need it!

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Ms. Sahaana Sankar

& Development Manager

Ms Sahaana Sankar - Fundraising & Development Manager

Ms. Sankar carries two hats as an Electronics and Communications Engineer as well as a Management graduate from London School of Economics and Political Science, where she specialized in marketing and strategy. She is passionate about the development sector and her stint with Hand in Hand Switzerland Association and Hand in Hand India is the first in this field.

Prior to this, Ms. Sankar has held various leadership and editorial positions during her education. She has worked with a start-up, Wimbletech in the UK for a year as the Financial and Community manager where she handled the audit, accounts and expansion strategy alongside a small team. She has also worked with the United Nations Chief Executive Board in New York.

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Ms. Emilie Compigne

& Development Consultant

Ms Emilie Compigne - Fundraising & Development Consultant

Ms. Compignie brings more than 10 years of professional experience in fundraising and project management. She has a BA in International Affairs from La Sorbonne and a Master in International Solidarity from the Social Sciences Faculty - Catholic Institute - in Paris. She has served for various entities internationally, such as the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the prestigious One Drop Foundation in Canada, before launching her career as a Consultant in Geneva.

Curious and eager to learn, Ms Compignie also has experience in entrepreneurship and business management and in dialogue facilitation. She is co-creator of the Fundraising Bootcamp, a series of capacity- building workshops for small and medium sized non-profit organizations in Geneva.



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