Home / About Us / Governing Board

Governing Board

The highest decision-making body in PRIA is its Governing Board. The board has developed by-laws to guide the functioning, roles and responsibilities of the members and the chairperson (Ms. Rita Sarin) and the treasurer (Mr. Ravi Seth).

Ms. Rita Sarin - Chairperson

Ms. Sarin is the Country Director of Hunger Project-India. She holds an MA from the University of Nottingham, UK. A pioneer in women's studies in India, Ms. Sarin served as a Programme Officer for the Swedish International Development Agency for 15 years before becoming Country Director of The Hunger Project in 2001. She now leads a nationwide alliance of 60 organisations implementing Hunger Project strategies to empower women in local democracy.

Ms. Lalita Ramdas - Member

Ms. Lalita Ramdas has been active on issues related to literacy, non-formal education and women's empowerment, nationally and internationally. Her early career in the fields of teaching and broadcasting have been followed by a career in development work through education with marginalised and minority communities, with special focus on gender and women. She has a degree in English Language and Literature from Delhi University. She is one of the founding members of the Board of Green Peace India, of which she became a part through her commitment to non-violence.


Mr. Satinder Singh Sahni - Member

Mr. Sahni, retired IAS officer, did his graduation in History from St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi, from 1968-71. Later he did M. Sc.(Econ.) Social Development Planning and Management, from the University of Wales, Swansea, 1992-93. He was the Principal Resident Commissioner, Government of Jammu & Kashmir. At the policy formulation level, the sectors he handled included public works, rural water supply, irrigation, and cooperatives. At the planning and management level, he worked in various sectors including horticulture, handlooms, handicrafts and sericulture. He is currently based in Gurgaon. 

Mr. Ravi Seth - Treasurer

Mr. Seth, a science graduate with a specialization in Mathematics and Statistics, qualified as a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India. In the last two decades, he has worked in a number of industries including tobacco, hotels, financial services, real estate, media and pharmaceuticals. He has worked with companies like ITC Ltd., Hindustan Times and Abbott India in senior positions. At present, he is working with ReNew Power, Gurgaon as Chief Financial Officer.

Ms. Sheela Patel - Member

Ms. Sheela Patel is Founder Director of SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres), a non-profit society working on issues of equity and social justice in India. SHe was Chairperson of PRIA's Governing Board from 2004 to mid 2017. After completing her Master's in Social Sciences from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, in 1974, she began her career as a child counsellor at the Nagpada Neighbourhood House, a community centre in the inner city of Mumbai. She has been on the board of organizations like Mobile Creches for Children of Construction Workers, Swayam Shikshan Prayog (which supports women's empowerment in rural areas in India), and Partners Urban Knowledge Action Research (PUKAR). She is also a member of CTAG. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2011.

Dr. Rajesh Tandon - President

Dr. Tandon is the co-founder and President of PRIA, since 1982. He has nearly four decades of work in articulating, elaborating and facilitating philosophical and methodological issues of participatory research and popular participation in India, South Asia and across the world. He has written extensively on participatory research and participatory development. He has also championed the cause of strengthening civil society organizations and capacities of the marginalized through the twin process of learning and organizing.

Mr Ashok Kumar Singh - Member

Ashok Kumar Singh is the founder Director of Sahbhagi Shikshan Kendra. SSK is a pioneer organization promoting participatory development & capacity building of CSOs particularly in U.P., Bihar and Jharkhand. Ashok Bhai, as he is popularly called, is a well known participatory trainer and has facilitated over a thousand participatory trainings in 30 years. He is a champion for the cause of institution building in civil society, engaged in providing momentum to the civil society movement in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. He is a rural management professional from a renowned management institute of India.

Ms Shobha Mishra Ghosh - Member

Ms. Ghosh is Senior Director, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) heading Education (school, vocational education & higher education), Skill Development, Health, Health Insurance, Medical Technology and Life Sciences (Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology). She has experience of working with private sector, governments and multilateral/bilateral development agencies with expertise in policy reforms, areas for public-private partnerships and awareness programmes amongst stakeholders and beneficiaries. She is a trained architect from Sir J J College of Architecture, Mumbai with a postgraduation in Urban Planning from Institute of Housing and Development Studies (IHS), Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Prior to FICCI, she worked with organizations like The Energy & Resource Institute (TERI), Schumacher Centre Delhi (SCD), the Indian partner of IDG (India Development Group) in London, U.K., and ACORD in various leadership positions.


  • I am an example of the Kishori Panchayat Programme which gave young girls the desire to do something, a reason to embrace life

    Kishori Panchayat Member
  • PRIA works for educating voters and making them conscious of discharging their duties as responsible citizens

    Dr Sushil Trivedi, IAS (Retd.)
    Former State Election Commissioner
  • PRIA has been able to provide voice to the Dalits and has generated awareness among them to demand their rights

    Vidyanand Vikal, Chairperson
    Commission for Scheduled Castes
    Government of Bihar
  • We learnt multi-stakeholder dialogue as a tool for advocacy from PRIA…it is a wonderful tool for organising people

    Ashok Kadam
  • The partnership between University of Victoria, a Northern university, and PRIA, a Southern institution, enables us to make some real contributions to building capacities in the global South

    Prof. Budd Hall, Co-Chair
    UNESCO Chair for Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education
    University of Victoria, Canada
  • PRIA has helped to build a large movement for citizens to use Panchayati Raj Institutions at the local level, to use their leadership, their voice, to bring about democracy from below

    Dr John Gaventa, Director of Research
    Institute of Development Studies
    Sussex, UK
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of being able to enroll myself in the course…this program has opened my eyes to possibilities for my life which were previously unconsidered

    Tripti Vinita Pal, Alumnus
    Appreciation course
  • Participatory Approaches for Social Inclusion course was undoubtedly beneficial for my research work, providing a deep understanding of theoretical aspects and the applied side of participation

    Pallavi Mishra
    PhD Research Scholar
    Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • I am a third party facilitator for three large institutions but I did not know half the things we have discussed in the Third Party Facilitator Training I attended organized by PRIA

    Joint Secretary of Lakshmi, an NGO
  • Thank you PRIA -- for helping me gain the confidence to speak up. Today, I do not hesitate to speak with the sarpanch.

    Renu Joshi
    ASHA worker
    Hinglaz gali Anganwadi Centre, Siwana Block, Barmer, Rajasthan
  • A delegation of elected members and officials from the Northern Province of Sri Lanka was exposed to PRIAâ??s exemplary work in developing citizen participation in governance and service deliver

    Prof. R. Sudarshan
    Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
    O.P. Jindal Global University

Have Query?