Board of Directors

About Our Biswas


Board Members

Ranu1 2019_IMG_1546Joyasree (Ranu) Mahanti, President

A former computer program analyst, Ranu is a social activist for the empowerment of women of the world.

“Helping those in need, while also empowering them to help themselves. The mandate to help means not just handouts, but also providing the means for the poor, the ill, and those in dire need to improve their condition with dignity and confidence.”

One of the visions of The Dalai Lama

fullsizeoutput_b8Kamini Gowdaa Peri, Secretary

Kamini is a HR professional and lives in Austin, Texas with her family. She has been involved in various community projects from the time she was in college and done many fundraiser events for variour organizations/ independent projects. Kamini is interested in education and empowerment for children and women.

Nupur Sethi pic copy

Nupur Sethi, Treasurer

A former early childhood educator, Nupur is committed to community service and is a current volunteer for Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, Michigan and several other social benefit organizations. She is passionate about women's social and economic growth nationally and globally.


Molly PetitjeanDirector

Molly is an attorney in East Lansing, Michigan focusing in the areas of advising small businesses, estate planning, and estate and trust administration.  She is actively involved in multiple local boards, committees, and her church.  Molly seeks to advance the mission of Our Biswas to empower women through economic growth.


Alka Pateriya, Director

Alka is a professional in the K-12 education sector. She has been a middle school teacher, Dean of Students, researcher, and company leader. She had the opportunity to visit the women receiving micro loans in Odisha in March 2018 and has been an active donor to Our Biswas. She looks forward to helping the organization expand its the reach of nano-finance in her local community, further the improvement of women’s lives, and assist with local fundraising efforts.

Ruth Jimenez-Benning, Director

Ruth (Jimenez) Benning was born and raised in Mexico City. She is a Chemical Engineer by profession. She wants to join the board of Ourbiswas because it is an organization that helps primarily women in poverty.  Growing up in Mexico City and seeing the inequality and having opportunities for myself that others do not have due to their socioeconomic background makes me want to give them opportunities.

Sean Dougherty Director

Experienced Executive Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Team Building, and Media Relations. Sean will be very helpful to Our Biswas because of his experience in running a non-profit organization and working with poor families, women, and children in Mexico.

We honor our past as we look forward to the future, and are grateful for the dedication, hard work, and passion these following past board members have given to Our Biswas. 

Aparna Agrawal, Malti Agrwal, Christine Hartman, Padmini Karna, Shakti Kaul, Sharon Monsoma, Sally Pratt, Linda Racioppi, Shobha Ramanand, Reshma Sambare, Margo Smith, Charlotte Wilks, Batool Mir, Suchitra Pattnaik, April Stone, Ruth Mbabazi, Uma Shrestha, Urmila Pateriya, Akshaya Ray, Anshu Varma, and Satya Subedi.


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