East and West: Peace through Spiritual and Material Development

Broadcast on September 17, 2011
With Dr. Rick Levy & Pooran Pandey

Pooran Pandey

Director, Times Foundation, set up rural assets for Tsunami and earthquake victims

Pooran Pandey has been working as Director, Times Foundation based at New Delhi, fostering a collective voice for the civil society in making the society just, equitable and sustainable. Over the years, he developed expertise through exposure in varied fields in facilitation, co-ordination and liaison with government agencies at all levels, donor agencies, civil society organizations, NGOs, media and corporate houses with a CSR mandate. He has worked as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Voluntary Action Network India (VANI) based at New Delhi from 2004 - 2006. As the CEO, he was responsible for overall operations of the secretariat based in Delhi and has been performing multi-dimensional roles in execution and administration of plans.

Recently, he led the launch of TEACH INDIA, India’s biggest volunteer driven educational program for underprivileged children, with a core team in four metros, to address the educational needs of underprivileged children. Currently, he is leading setting up rural assets for Tsunami victims in Chennai and Earthquake affected victims in Jammu, besides leading the launch of group’s flagship educational project in Bangalore

Focussed around a unique and scalable approach towards social integration of the excluded communities, Pooran Chandra Pandey has successfully carried out a number of innovative and game changing development ideas into its effective implementation at grassroots. His efforts on raising essential and required community infrastructure in public private partnership mode (valued at USD 100 million) in six disaster prone states have substantially contributed to economic empowerment of more than a million people, particularly the women and vulnerable groups.

Dotted with diverse and varied career progression, Pooran worked in various leadership roles with Government, business and civil society including as Fellow, Ministry of Defence, Chief Executive Officer of Voluntary Action Network India and currently as Director of Times Foundation, a corporate social responsibility division of the Times of India Group. 

Credited with pioneering the notion of involving key stakeholders – civil society, business and government- through consensus and convergence for achieving sustainable grassroots growth, Pooran ideated and led the launch of number of campaigns such as Lead India including world’s largest volunteering campaign- Teach India- winning appreciation of the United Nations’ Secretary General. In yet another initiative, he is currently advising UNV/UNDP on its first State of the World Volunteering Report. He was also instrumental in initiating the first Interfaith Dialogue I n Malta in 2005 on the sidelines of CHOGM, besides having participated in the same.  

Working towards enabling environment for nongovernmental organisations, Pooran has also contributed towards evolution of national policies such as national policy on voluntary sector, implementation of UN Handbook, NGO charter of good governance, certifiable standards for not-for-profit, rationalization of policies for NGOs and foreign contribution regulation act and volunteering, leading to peoples’ effective participation in the policy planning process.  

Having widely travelled internationally, Pooran holds advanced degrees from University of Allahabad, Allahabad, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, besides obtaining global mid career management programs from Asian Productivity organization, Tokyo, JAPAN and Swedish Institute, Stockholm, SWEDEN.

Pooran is currently a British Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom.