WHO WE ARE
John Christopher - Founder
John's passion for Nepal started when he was working in the city of Surkhet. Since arriving at Oda in September 2012, he has established relationships, managed development projects, and grown the foundation. John spends 8 months a year in Nepal and the rest in the U.S. focusing on outreach. Prior to starting the foundation, John worked in financial services in the Washington, DC-area.
Karan Singh – Director, Himalayan Sewa Semaj
Karan Singh is the Director of Himalyan Sewa Semaj Kendra. He was born in Oda and raised in Kalikot. At the age of 14, Karan lost his father from pneumonia which catalyzed his desire to help the region with its medical issues. Unfortunately, at that time with little money and a need to support his family, Karan travelled to India where he quickly thrived. During his 12 years in Rishikesh, Karan quickly progressed from a dishwasher to a manager at Garwhal Himalayan Explorations. While in India, Karan would return home on a yearly basis bringing clothes, medicine, and books to help his neighbors where he could. Despite those efforts, Karan wanted to make a bigger impact and it was while serving as manager, that Karan received a call from Nepal with an opportunity to return in a much more impactful way. In the fall of 2013 Karan returned to Oda with John and a renewed hope of helping his home community. After months of planning, Karan and John concurrently founded The Oda Foundation and Himalayan Sewa Semaj Kendra with the hope of engaging the community and providing high quality medicine for some of Nepal’s most in need people.
“I always dreamed to help my community and the people of the Karnali Zone. Before we started Himalayan Sewa Semaj Kendra we had so many avoidable deaths, and I’m so fortunate to John, The Oda Foundation, and our supporters who helped make my dreams come true” – Karan Singh, Director H.S.S.K
Mim Bahadur Karki – Community Health Professional
Mim Karki started with Oda Clinic in December 2013. Mim Karki grew up in Pili, which is roughly a three hour walk from Oda, and received his community medical certificate in Nepalgunj. He has worked in Kalikot and the surrounding hills for over a decade and his familiarity with the local people and regional health problems is indispensable. Karki runs the clinic and advises the team on a range of cultural issues. Further, he is working with outsiders to help bolster our health education program.
Nirendra Bogati – Community Health Professional
Nirendra started with Oda Clinic in January 2016. He grew up in Manma, a district capital of of Kalikot, and received his Health Assistant certificate in Nepalgunj. He has worked in urban and rural health for over 24years. Nirendra speaks proficient English and worked at the Kalikot District Hospital prior to joining the Oda Foundation..
Sarita Shahi – Community Health Professional
Sarita works in Oda Clinic alongside Mim Karki. She grew up in a nearby village and, like Mim Karki, received her medical education in Nepalgunj. She is currently working under Karki to build her practical experience skill set.
Tankha Chaulagai – Lab Technician
Tankha grew up in Sarabada, a two hour walk from Oda. After working for several years as a Lab Technician in neighboring Pilit he joined the Oda team in 2016.
Nick Kraft – Director, Oda Foundation
Nick was brought on as a Director for the Oda Foundation in October of 2017, after serving as both an Education Fellow and a Transition Fellow for the foundation in 2016-2017. Nick’s experience living and working in the village of Oda as well as the personal connections he has made on the ground in Nepal have set him up for success in his role of Director. Prior to joining The Oda Foundation Nick worked for The Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colorado. Nick graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in International Affairs and Business.
Prem Shahi - Facilities Manager
Prem Shahi is Oda's carpenter, mason, electrician - just name it and he can do it. A native of neighboring Gela, Prem joined the Oda Foundation team in 2015.
Tulkie Auntie – Facilities/ Cook
Tulki is a single mother of two and a beloved face in Oda. She supports Oda Team members by cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner in addition to a number of other essential tasks.
Bim Uncle - Night Security
Bim joined our team after returning from India to care for his brother's six children, following his death last year. In addition to supporting the children, Bim serves as a night watchmen and general laborer for the Foundation.
Rai Pariyar - Staff
Rai spends much of his time in the mountains above Oda overseeing Foundation led agricultural activities. Working alongside his two sons he ensures a steady pipeline of produce to keep the team fed, in addition to a number of other activities.
Bishna Singh – Classroom Coordinator
Bishna was born in Oda, but studied in India during Nepal's decade long civil war. He is fluent in English, Hindi, and Nepali and oversees classroom initiatives in conjunction with the Foundation Education Fellows.
2017-2018 – Oda Foundation Fellows
- Aaron Charney - Education Fellow
- Taylor Murillo - Education Fellow
- Sarah Helms - Health + Operations Fellow
Cara Skillingstead – Community Health Advisor and Director of Engagement
Cara has numerous responsibilities with the Oda Foundation. Cara is an advisor for community health fellows, oversees the Oda Student Sponsorship Program, and is a leader of Oda's US advisory board which assists in planning and fundraising throughout the US.
Throughout the Foundation's formative years, Cara was instrumental in: conducting community needs assessments, developing curriculum for child and adult health classes, creating policy for inpatient clinic and emergency procedures, and implementing an ongoing epidemiological study of health outcomes through environmental and social factors.
Bal Singh – Assistant Director of Special Projects
Bal is another jack of all trades at the Oda Foundation supporting everyone and everything at all times of the day. After recovering from a severe illness 2 years ago he joined our team and is healthy and happy.
U.S. LEADERSHIP AND SUPPORT
The Oda Foundation has an incredible group of supporters and leaders in America and abroad. Their giving, advice and hard work make our success in Nepal possible. We can't thank this tremendous group of people enough.
U.S. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Chairman, Larry Lawrence - Retired venture capital fund Founder and Managing Partner
- Vice President, Kirk Adamson - Senior Vice President at KSL Capital Partners
- Treasurer, Byron Peyster - Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group
- Secretary, Colin Ram - Associate, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom LLP
- Board Member, Sandy Reiter - Associate Professor of Business Administration, Washington and Lee University
- Board Member, Ivy Silver - Leadership Council of the Harvard School of Public Health
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
- Chair, Peter Lawrence
- Vice-Chair, Brett Ryan
- Secretary & US Liaison, Robert Christopher
- Communications Chair, Brit Staniar