Astha Thapa Pandey: Chair
Astha Thapa has a B.A. in Government and Anthropology from Harvard University. She was awarded the prestigious Stride Rite Post-Graduate Fellowship Award for Public Service in her senior year of college and subsequently returned home to Nepal. Since then, she has been working in education and women’s rights. She has worked in innovative education programmes such as Open Learning Exchange Nepal and Rato Bangala School/Foundation. She was also the first Executive Director of Tewa (Nepal’s women’s fund), a programme officer in Women’s Fund Asia (a regional women’s fund) and a founding member and the first Board Chair of Voices of Women (VOW) Nepal. In addition to Saksham Yuwa Nepal (the National Award Operator for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Nepal) board, she also serves on the executive boards of Rato Bangala Foundation and Harvard Group of Nepal. While at Rato Bangala, she was the first Award leader for the DoE International Award there and organised their first Award Leader Training in 2011. She also attended the Training of Trainers meeting in Sri Lanka later that year. She joined the board of Saksham Yuwa Nepal in 2016.
After the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, Astha co-founded Resilient Homes with a group of peers and was on the fundraising and implementation steering committee, which built homes for nearly 700 families all over Nepal. During this time, she also worked as a consultant for the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) on disaster response, funding organisations working with minorities and vulnerable and underrepresented communities to help them recover and rebuild after the earthquake.
Chandrayan Shrestha: Immediate past chair
He is the Principal and Owner of Caribbean School. He was the first Award Leader in Nepal in 1999 at Shuvatara School where he was Vice Principal and he is also a T4T trained Award Leader trainer. He is now working on developing the Award in eastern Nepal. He is keen on the Award as he has a love of outdoors and is confident in the results of the Award in empowering and developing the youth.
Sneha RajmiLaxmi Rana: Vice Chair
She is a medical doctor interning in Nepal Medical College Teaching Hospital Kathmandu. She is also a 10m air rifle shooter; represented Nepal in international events including the 2012 London Olympics, 2010 Asian Games China and 2014 Asian Games Korea. She is the Patron of the physical Recreation section for The Award and sits on the Executive Board as a youth representative.
Dawa Steven Sherpa: Executive Board Member
He is a well know personality in the tourism industry of Nepal, he runs a tourism company and climbing wall facility. He has climbed Everest among other mountains and completed the entire Great Himalayan Trail and loves all sport. He also has a keen interest in sustainable development and is on the Board of Directors of Himalayan Climate Initiative. He is very optimistic about the Award and the positive impact the Award has on the youth. He is very motivated to support the Award in Nepal. Dawa is the Patron of the Adventurous Journey Section and has always provided the Award with expert insight on how to provide the participants the best adventurous journey experience.
Devraj Ghimire: Board Secretory
He is the former chairman of Asia Pacific Regional Programme Sub-Committee/World Organization of Scout movement, Executive Committee Member QUEST –Nepal and the President of Rotary Club Mahabouddha RI District 3292. He is a very active member of the Board and is helping in coordinating the Scout and Award partnership to promote the Award to a wider youth audience.
Medin Lamichhane: Treasurer
He is the current principal of Ullens School, life member of NELTA(Nepal English Language Teacher’s Association), Executive member: SAIBSA (South Asian International Baccalaureate Schools’ Association) and a Workshop Leader: International baccalaureate Organization (IBO), Switzerland. He had has countless paper presentation in international conferences like Sixth NELTA International Conference, Pokhara, UCEA (University Council for Educational Administration) Convention in Virginia, USA and many more. Mr. Lamichhane has been part of many publication such as UCEA (2007) – Schooling for social justice: A partnership between Nepali school and a U. S. school of Education (University Council for Education Administration- USA). With his immense experience in the education sector we are honored for his presence in the board. His experience and knowledge is a huge asset to The Award Program.
Tejendra Prakash Rajbhandari: Executive Board Member
He is the Principal of Kathmandu University High School, he was the past president and now advisor of QUEST Nepal. A member of the Lions Club, he has over a decade experience working with the youth of Nepal. His experience working with the youth and expertise will be a great asset to the Award moving forward.
Uttam Kayastha: Executive Board Member
He is the Managing Director at Rama Inn Boutique Home, director of Goodwill finance limited, chapter president of Kathmandu Sukunda Lions Club and chairman of Annapurna Healthcare Banepa. He is also the promoter for Jomsom Eco Resort, Pokhara Ciry – Komagane Ciry (Japan) Sistercity – Coordinator. A well know business man in Nepal with a great insight on business and marketing. His knowledge and experience has be a great asset to The Award.
Lachhindra Maharjan: Executive Board Member
He is a development professional with more than 10 years of experience in the field of international development, policy advocacy, social research, humanitarian work and social work. His work is driven by passion, dedication and engagement and underpinned by principles of equity, engagement and active participation at all levels; empowerment; ownership; the promotion and creation of healthy and sustainable environments through public policies as well as appropriate and realistic practices. Lachhindra Maharjan is currently working at Save the Children, Nepal and Bhutan Country Office as the Advocacy Specialist. He is very thrilled to provide the Award with his expertise in research and analysis to further grow the Award.”