Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors

Meet the people who founded our foundation and oversee its operations.

 

Brett Rosen
Founder & CEO

After visiting the villages around Bodhgaya India and experiencing the reality of children and families living in extreme poverty, Brett developed a strong desire to help improve the living conditions and lives of the people and communities he was meeting.

Bringing over 25 years of business leadership experience to the foundation. A student of The 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, Brett spent twelve years working and living at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, The Karmapa’s main seat in North America, a Buddhist Monastery located near Woodstock, NY.

Brett integrates the skills he has acquired through a lifetime of business management and development with his knowledge of educational, economic and sustainable community progress in India. He focuses on developing organizational teams that thrive on creative action and value the rewards of growing human potential to its fullest expression.

With a vision for developing integrative solutions to educational and healthcare challenges and the intricacy of wide spread poverty in Northern India, Brett has learned how to recognize and nurture the positive qualities of communities and to implement effective strategies with the ultimate goal of helping people learn to help themselves.

Dwariko Sundarani
Co-Founder & Director

Dwariko Sundarani is the last living student of Mahatma Gandhi and has been working with communities and families living in underserved villages in Northern India for over 40 years. After meeting Brett in Bodhgaya they realized their shared vision and formed the Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation.

Dwariko has developed numerous social, educational and health programs in the Bodhgaya area, including yearly programs of free public eye surgery, hosted every October and November for the past 20 years. Eye infections are wide spread in poor areas of India due to lack of sanitation, and many people start developing blinding eye diseases and cataracts at a young age. The eye clinic located near Bodhgaya provides free eye surgery to over 10,000 people every year.

Dwariko has been a celebrated guest at major universities in India and worldwide as an international spokesperson representing Gandhi’s philosophy and strategies for global peace and the eradication of world hunger. He enjoys tremendous goodwill for translating non-violence into action through compassion and education.

Dwariko’s life time commitment to helping develop life enhancing healthcare programs in Northern India and years of experience working with impoverished communities around Bodhgaya is a vital contribution and inspiration to the Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation.

Dhirendra Sharma
Program Director

Dhirendra is operations and program director for the Foundation. He has over 15 years of international NGO experience leading the design and implementation of development programs in the areas of poverty, child rights, healthcare, livelihood, and humanitarian assistance.

Over seeing daily activities at our Bodhi Tree school and various other programs Dhirendra brings unlimited energy and inspiration to the children and their families living in numerous poor villages around Bodhgaya.

Dhirendra has created many important vocational, educational and technology development programs in Northern India. His efforts have always been directed toward educating and equipping children and adults with life-sustainable skills.

He was former director of the Institute of industrial vocational training, established under the National Council for Vocational Training, Labor Resource Department and Government of India. Dhirendra interacts with several international organization that act as a platforms for engaging people from different countries of the world on subjects of education, leadership, environment and humanitarian aid.

Marcia Rosen
Director

Marcia brings over 35 years of business experience to the Foundation. She was founder of a highly successful public relations firm in charge of developing nationwide programs and community outreach for several top organizations including; Medic Alert Foundation, American Academy of Family Physicians and the Nature Conservancy.

As a published author, prominent speaker and prolific women’s business writer, Marcia has given thousands of women the tools they need to achieve greater success. She has appeared on ABC television and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as numerous national business and professional publications.

Marcia has received many awards for her outstanding community service, and her dedication to helping women in business. Marcia brings a lifetime of experience helping women succeed in their journey to economic freedom and self-reliance.

Vinay Tiwari
Director

Vinay is architect, innovator and educator in the field of low cost housing specializing in environmentally conscious green energy building materials and township development in India. Internationally recognized for his work, he has been given the Vishveshwaraiya Award for his sustainable cost effective housing designs.

He is among those fortunate architects who have worked under the kind supervision and in the gracious company of the highly respected environmental architect Laurence Wilfred Baker.

His cost effective designs have been adopted by numerous the prestigious governmental organizations and NGOs in India and around the world. He has worked on various integrated social initiatives helping create numerous jobs and positive economic development in the the Northern State of Bihar. Vinay has worked for many years helping improve the lives of families living in the villages around Bodhgaya India.

Dr. Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Director

Kathleen received her doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She taught for over nine years in the doctorate studies program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California and has been an adjunct professor of philosophy and education.

Kathleen is an award winning author as well as a researcher and consultant to projects requiring historical accuracy. A prolific writer in the fields of philosophy, history and education, her recent work is a historical and botanical guide to trees and plants from around the world. Kathleen has over 30 years experience teaching and developing educational programs for children and adults.

Melynda Sylvestre
Director

Melynda brings over 25 years of experience in the field of health care in the USA and abroad, she has integrated her training with philanthropic projects over the past two decades. A strong belief in the capability of every person to learn and succeed in their own way underwrites all her work.

Melynda is an emergency medical technician and trained childbirth educator, as well as both a Labor Support and Post-Partum Doula. With a special interest in pregnancy, birth and neo-natal and post-partum health and many years of experience in this field. Melynda takes a very hands on role in the Foundation’s Women’s and Children’s Health Programs – working directly with the women of the villages to improve maternal and neo-natal outcomes and develop family nutrition and important women’s health educational programs.